Drones and the future for the emergency services?

Ambulance prototype drone by Alec Momont


Take a look at prototypes, concepts and drones currently being used today that could one day radically reduce fatalities

With technological drone advances already being implemented within the emergency services we look at what the future holds for such concepts, before just imagined as science fiction.

Very often throughout the last five years we have see new innovations and technological marvels being released, we have also seen new concepts being implemented into reality.

One such prototype as part of the drones for good project comes from design engineer Alec Momont.

With a vision to leverage drone technology to improve global health Alec has designed one such drone with that in mind, the Ambulance drone, which aims to implement a high speed network delivering emergency medical supplies within minutes. Leading to a 10% increase in survival rates.

Such a response system could provide the emergency care needed until an ambulance arrives, linked to a live doctor through a remote camera instructions can be given to individuals on the scene.

As a the Ambulace drone has a speed of l00km/h and the ability to avoid roads and traffic this could be one prototype we may be seeing implemented by emergency services very soon.

The Argodesign Concept Drone

Argodesign drone ambulance

Another Ambulance drone far from prototype but rather a concept design comes from Texas design company Argodesign.

Their design looks to be more of a provocation to the manufacturing industry than a serious concept for prototype but still gives us a glimpse into the potential drone technology has saving lives.

Such an emergency response drone would be able to land virtually anywhere due to its small size and four rotors. The conceptual solution is that the drone would be contain a single EMT that would would stabilize a patient, load him up and take them back t hospital for treatment.

Although such a concept may appear wild at this stage, but with lighter material innovation such an idea could become a reality, drones are currently becoming faster, bigger and cheaper so it is not implausible to see this type of response vehicle in the future.

Concept drone ambulance design


GIMBALL: Just one rescue drone deviating from a conventional design

Gimball drone for search and rescue


Whether the scene is a burning building, devastation zone or a vast land of wildness there is currently drones being developed for every application.

"It solves multiple challenges in inspection of industrial facilities, rail and roadways, firefighting, search and rescue, marketing and communication as well as law enforcement"

The Gimball is one such prototype, The recent Drones for Good winners Flyability, a Swiss start up company received $1 million in prize money for their unique design which sits inside a carbon fibre cage protecting it from its environment, this keeps the drone flying after minor collisions, in addition to this the cage protects any found survivors from harm due to any moving parts, a potential problem with more conventional drones especially in a confined environment such as a building or wreckage.

Innovative drones designed to rescue those in need

Draganflyer X6 Rescue Drone

The agility and efficiency of these incredible machines often means they are better equipped than humans or other vehicles for humanitarian tasks. From transporting aid to spotting someone in need, there is a variety of potentially life-saving drone aircraft projects that are currently in development.

One such initiative is the LifeLine Response app, a personal panic button that wil l summon a drone if you are in distress. If you are concerned about your safety, you can simply load the app and keep your thumb pressed on the screen or set a timer. If you get into trouble, you can release your thumb or fail to deactivate the timer, and the police wil l be called and a drone deployed to your location using GPS.

The idea is that the drone, which can travel at 97 kilometres (60 miles) per hour, wil l be able to scare off an attacker by sounding an alarm, follow them if they flee the scene, and collect information from the area before the police arrive. It is hoped the system could be used in cities across the world, with dozens of drones stationed at each law-enforcement headquarters waiting to spring into action.

Another concept, developed by a young Dutch engineering student named Alec Momont, involves 'ambulance drones' quickly delivering defibrillators to heart-attack victims.

The drone would be able to transport the equipment within minutes, and then the operator can use two-way video supported communication in order to instruct a nearby helper to use it.

While some life-saving drones are still a work in progress, others are already being put to work. For example, Draganflyer drones are being used to provide a unique high-resolution view of disaster zones and crash sites to help teams on the ground locate victims, organise rescue missions and document the scene.

Draganflyer makes several different models of drone suited to both hobbyist and professional applications. These come with a choice of camera, including a GoPro and thermal-imaging camera, and are flown using a handheld controller, but you will need some training in order to operate one.

Lifeguard Drone

Lifesaver Drone

Getting help to those in trouble at sea is especially difficult and slow, particularly in adverse weather conditions. Iranian company RTS Lab hopes drones can solve this, as it is currently developing a new lifeguard robot called Pars.

After hearing about the huge number of people that drown in the Caspian Sea each year, RTS Lab decided to create a multi rotor drone that could help save human lives.

As well as being able to fly above the water and be guided by GPS, Pars can also carry and drop life preservers to where they are needed.

Although it is not able to pull people to safety, it can provide initial aid before the lifeguard arrives and monitor the situation by recording photos and video.

A prototype has already been tested, and was able to reach a target 75 metres (246 feet) out to sea in just 22 seconds, while a human lifeguard took over a minute.

Delivering Aid

Matternet Aid Delivering Drone

In many developing countries, rural roads become inaccessible during the rainy season, making it very difficult to transport much-needed medicine to thos e in need.

Matternet - a network for transporting matter - aims to provide the solution. The plan involves autonomous drones, carrying up to two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of medical supplies, flying between several ground stations.

The Matternet system has already been tested in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Bhutan and Papua New Guinea with a 10km Max distance... per charge

These stations would allow the drones to collect or drop off their payload as well as swap batteries so they can keep flying for longer.

The drones will use GPS and other sensors to navigate and an operating system would make sure they avoid adverse weather conditions and do not collide with each other.