Home Market Drones may be used to keep swimmers safe from sharks

Drones may be used to keep swimmers safe from sharks

Drones developed by The Ripper Group and Chinese developer JTT Technology are to be tested by Surf Life Saving NSW as means of driving sharks away from swimmers.

The specially-developed drones can drop “shark shield bombs” into the water where they emit electric pulses. They can also drop a flotation device that activates when it hits water and can be used to support swimmers in trouble, or drop a defibrillator in difficult to reach areas.

Australian company, The Ripper Group, was set up by high-profile publisher, local entrepreneur and Life Member of Surf Life Saving Australia, Kevin Weldon, to develop the drones for use on Australian beaches.

The drones use artificial intelligence developed by University of Technology Sydney researchers to track sharks and RealSense aviation technology to prevent collisions with other drones/aircraft.

The drones can land automatically without a pilot.

Surf Life Saving NSW will test the drones on the state’s north coast and plans are afoot to follow-up successful tests with further trials on Sydney beaches.

The drones are likely to be deployed nationwide by the end of the year if trials in NSW are successful.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).