Surf Life Saving Drone

SAPHI developed a surf life saving drone system to revolutionise the way first responders address the distress calls from beach-goers.

Life saving drone Australia

What Was The Problem?

When it comes to Surf Life Saving, a set of binoculars is a crucial piece of equipment to identify distressed swimmers in need of rescue.

However, once identified, current methods of communicating the position of the distressed and scrambling lifeguards to their aid not only place the rescuer in varying levels of danger but consume a considerable amount of precious time available to the distressed.

The use of a life saving drones has started being trialled in rescue situations but they still rely on trained pilots to fly the drone to the individual’s location for delivery of a flotation device. 

What Was The Solution?

In Short: Augmented reality control system that determines GPS coordinates of the distressed for drone navigation using visuals alone.

Detailed: SAPHI Engineers designed a new control system for Surf Life Saver Drones by switching out the surf lifesavers binoculars for a virtual reality headset that controls a camera. This creates an Augmented Reality Control System which works by applying a digital overlay to the world we see with our eyes. In this application, a crosshair is used to line up the distressed for the GPS coordinate calculation. From the height, angle and orientation of the camera, it is possible to determine the GPS coordinate of the distressed based on visuals alone.

The VR headset has a first-person view from the camera’s location on top of the lifeguard tower. When the surf lifesaver moves their head the roll, pitch and yaw sensor data are used to change the angle of the camera. Once the GPS coordinate is calculated, the drone is deployed to fly to the location of the distressed and give aid in the form of a flotation device and verbal commands.

What Were The Outcomes?

Outcomes of our life saving drone system include:

  • Reduced response time between identifying the distressed and getting to their location.
  • Minimum training required to use a VR
  • Audio link between the shoreline and the distressed

What Skills Did SAPHI Use To Implement The Solution?

The hardware and software experience and expertise required for this life saving drone system included:

  • NodeJS
  • C++
  • Angular
  • PWA
  • No SQL Database Design Implementation

What Support Did SAPHI Offer After Completion?

SAPHI provides customised packages to support the full system development life cycle and implementation of upgrades to support the evolving needs of our clients and their customers.

Do You Have A Similar Project You Need Support With?

Reach out to our friendly team today for a free consultation about your unique project.

Interested in other projects?

Check out more projects below!