A research team at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies, and Image Exploitation has developed an underwater rescue robot with the help of the city of Halle's water rescue service.
The autonomous system will aid lifeguards and lifesavers, and rescue swimmers from drowning.
Surveillance cameras register the movements and position of a distressed swimmer and transmit coordinates to the robot, which is dispatched from a docking station on the pool floor.
Upon reaching the swimmer, the robot carries them to the surface, with a mechanism for fixing the swimmer in place preventing him/her from sliding down as they surface.
The robot requires acoustic sensors to rescue people in lakes with limited visibility; a test under such conditions showed the robot could successfully rescue a dummy swimmer in just over two minutes.
From Fraunhofer Institute (Germany)
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