Drones add more and more applications and functionalities, some of them are quite striking. Now, for example, they are also of great help in rescue efforts.
A team of researchers from the Fraunhofer FKIE institute in Germany has created a drone that is capable of locating trapped people by following their screams.
It may seem like a macabre idea, but it is quite serious. The device has been designed to find survivors when a natural disaster strikes.
“Drones can cover a larger area in a shorter period of time than rescue workers or trained dogs,” says Macarena Varela, one of the main engineers on the project.
“If there is a collapsed building, it can alert and help rescuers. It can go to places that they cannot reach ”.
The researchers first recorded themselves yelling, playing, and making other sounds that someone calling for help might make.
They then used those recordings to train an artificial intelligence algorithm and tweaked the software to filter out ambient sounds like the drone’s rotors whirring.
In addition, the managers used the type of microphones that can be found in a traditional smartphone, particularly because they wanted the device to be lightweight.
This unique invention has caught the attention of several organizations dedicated to rescuing people. However, from the Fraunhofer Institute they have already indicated that they will not manufacture the device in series. Its commercialization, thus, will be in the hands of third parties, in accordance with what they advance.