the little ripper

If you were on the fence about how beneficial technology can be, you should read this.  There is a drone in Australia that patrols the beach to find sharks.  This particular drone, called “Little Ripper”, has saved a pair of swimmers who were caught in some rough seas.  This is incredible, don’t you think?  I mean, it can be hard for a lifeguard to see exactly what’s going on with you when you’re in the water.  Which is why this kind of technology is incredible.  It’s certainly going to help save lives.

Lifeguards were busy testing the UAV off Lennox Head as part of the New South Wales’ $250,000 shark-spotting strategy when the distress call came in.  What’s incredible about this particular incident is that the drone didn’t just notify the lifeguards that people were in distress, it actually saved them.  Within 70 seconds the drone had tracked down the stranded people and dropped them a flotation pod, which they used to safely make their way to shore.

Australia has been leading the charge in deploying drone coast guards with countries like the UK following suit.  The Little Ripper UAV can fly through the air for two and a half hours on a single charge.  Which isn’t that long, but it’s better than nothing.  It comes packed with supplies including inflatable rafts and GPS beacons.  In August, it was reported that the drones were being fitted with AI smarts in order to map shark infested water.

I am a huge proponent of when we can find ways for technology to make our lives better.  Or enhance it in some way to provide us with even some basic fundamentals.  Which is why I love this idea so much.  Before I go into the life-saving aspect of it, let’s talk about the technology.  Have a look at the video above and tell me that the technology didn’t knock you out of your chair.  (Or whatever it is you’re sitting on) . The fact that this tiny helicopter like apparatus is able to identify the difference between a shark and a whale is incredible to me. Yes, I completely understand how this technology is created.  But that doesn’t stop me from being in awe of this incredible feat.

the little ripper

Getting back to the life-saving aspect now.  I am really happy to see a government taking such a proactive stance when it comes to preventing shark attacks and even deaths.  They say that the odds of getting attacked by a shark is minimal, but is it?  Especially in the case of Australia where sharks are a dime a dozen.  Maybe not all the time, but certainly there are times when the waters are “infested” with sharks.  But with technology like the Little Ripper, you don’t have to be afraid to go into the water anymore. There is no concern about whether or not a lifeguard is going to be able to help you to shore because technology will.  In my opinion, this is great news and I can’t wait to see how else this could be applied.