A major problem in saving open water swimmers in dangerous situation is the immediate reaction when they call for help.
Even the strongest lifeguards take a long time to get to offshore swimmers in distress. Taking advantage of today technology lifeguards are getting some help from robotic lifeguards or from aerial rescue drones.
ROLFER is an autonomously moving drone allowing for deployment in unattended beaches or in absence of human lifeguard, as well as for supporting emergency crews in rescue operations.
ROLFER is not remotely piloted as other existing robotic lifeguards although it will be able to be operated and in this way.
HOW ROLFER WORKS
ROLFER (Robotic Lifeguard For Emergency Rescue) is based on the simple concept of receiving the GPS position of a distress signal submitted by the Android Intelligent Phone-Watch (AIPW), from a swimmer in danger and respond to it by sending automatically through a drone, one or more life preservers to him/her. The X-Y coordinates of the incident (or alternatively the Latidude and the Longitude) are received from a high-accuracy Differential GPS (DGPS) detection system and driving through the autopilot system the drone to the incident.
The AIPW, upon activation by the swimmer submits through the mobile service provider a distress signal followed by the exactGPS coordinates of the swimmer. A computer in the base station receives the above data of the swimmer in the water. Intermediate points of the desired trajectory are calculated in order to avoid possible obstacles and the people in the beach. They are provided as a series of successive positions, together with the target position of the swimmer in danger, to the autopilot of the drone. Then it issues a command to ROLFER to take off. Once in proximity to the swimmer in danger, ROLFER releases one or more life preservers near him/her. The swimmer can grasp a life preserver for support. At the same time the base station sends an SMS to aground authority (e.g. the Coast Guard), with the incident GPS position, using a mobile phonefor the communication between the land base station and the authorities.
Once the drone has completed its mission, it auto-returns and auto-lands in the base station.
ROLFER is autonomously moving and not remotely piloted as other existing robotic lifeguards, taking advantage of today's technology.