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New search and rescue drones navigate dense jungle to find you




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In lab tests of this new technology, two MIT search and rescue drones were deployed in virtual heavily forested zones. The drones mapped areas of approximately 220 square feet (20 square meters) in less than five minutes. The drones shared their information with each other, merging their maps (which helps rescuers become familiar with the area quicker).

The future of this program certainly seems promising. If a fleet of these drones is deployed, it is envisioned the drones would approach each other and communicate wirelessly, fuse their maps and systematically search zones to locate the missing person or people. The newer versions of this drone will have sophisticated object recognition technology that will help the drones know when they locate someone and alert the human rescuers.

A study from a few months ago found that generally, search and rescue drones were faster at locating people who were lost when compared to human teams.

To see other examples of drones for good, check out how they are being used for pest control in New Zealand.

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