MessageToEagle.com – EMILY Lifeguard Rescue is a rescue robot that will be used at the beach. EMILY stands for EMergency Integrated Lifesaving lanYard and she is a floating rescue device capable of navigating out to people who need assistance in the water.
The robot was developed by Arizona-based company Hydronalix, a maker of maritime robots. American lifeguards rescue approximately 80,000 people every year. Although, Emily is currently patrolling Malibu’s Zuma Beach, you may soon see the robot in action at the beaches of San Diego, Florida or in other places.
Emily measures at about 54 inches long by 16 inches wide by 8 inches tall, and weighs 25 pounds. The robot is currently remote controlled, but EMILY will eventually be able to pilot herself to people in trouble when she detects erratic swimming behavior simply by using sonar. The robot is also equipped with speakers for two-way communication with a real lifeguard, computer intelligence and special sonar.
Emily is made to be tossed into troublesome waters from the beach, from a ship, or even from the air. It then swims away by remote control to rescue swimmers. When it reaches the swimmer, it stops. The swimmer must then grab onto the rope surrounding the device and EMILY begins to pull the person back to shore.
“If a lifeguard has detected that somebody needs to be rescued, they send EMILY out, and the idea is she goes out and gets close and just stops, then they grab on and then lifeguards can decide what to do,” said Tony Mulligan, CEO of Hydronalix. “When the riptide catches four or five people out there, it’s really quick, especially in rough water,” Mulligan said, noting that the craft can reach top speeds of 40 mph.
“It’s balanced so it always lands right and if it flips over, it flips back,” he said. “Sometimes it goes through the wave, sometimes it skips over – we’ve gotten it probably 25 feet in the air.”
The basic EMILY model is priced at $3,500 each. Hydronalix is planning to have a fully autonomous version of Emily available by 2011.
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