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Three cool ways drones can help save lives

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Considering that literally thousands of civilians are killed in predator drone strikes in any given year, it’s unsurprising that drones are more readily associated with taking rather than saving lives.

That being said, last year DJI estimated that consumer drones were saving an average of one person’s life every week.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of several amazing projects where UAVs are helping keep people alive.

We’ve previously written about cool ways drones are helping the world and how Australian lifeguards rescued two drowning boys by dropping a flotation device from a drone into the sea.

1. Netherlands: ‘Ambulance drones’ equipped with defibrillators and medicine can rapidly respond to patients

The drone includes a defibrillator to get hearts going again in emergency situations.

When someone suddenly collapses and they need medical attention, time is of the essence. In built-up cities, it may take a normal ambulance significant time to reach and treat the patient who could have suffered a heart attack, stroke or other calamity.

This drone prototype was designed by a student at the Technical University in Delft, Netherlands. It was intended to be part of a network of drones in EU cities which could be dispatched during emergencies. The drone can manoeuvre its way to a patient and medical staff could use equipment on board to restart patients’ hearts or give them life-saving medication.

Unfortunately since the project first received publicity in 2014, it seems to have hit some road blocks. One hopes with an idea this compelling that another company will bankroll the technology and get these drone rolled out in densely populated areas.

United States: Drones drop bombs to cause avalanches

This sounds like a dastardly plot from a James Bond villain but these drones are designed to solve a very serious problem.

Every year, hundreds of skiers or snowboarders are caught and killed in avalanches.

Traditionally, staff at ski resorts are tasked with manually placing explosives at mountaintops which, once detonated, dislodge loose snow and lessen the chance of an avalanche when the mountain is full of people. The placing of bombs however is, unsurprisingly, extremely hazardous for staff.

In 2013, a group of mountaineers in Colorado created Mountain Drones Inc, a company which designs UAVs algorithms to precisely drop explosive payloads onto mountain slopes, blasting away that loose snow and clearing the way for the public to enjoy the mountains safely.

The company’s technology removes staff from harm’s way and reduces the risk of avalanches injuring or killing people at ski resorts on mountainous roads or railways. Good one!

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