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With the increase in recent years of refugees fleeing from dangerous areas via the sea, an urgent humanitarian crisis, some researchers have begun developing methods of aid for these refugees. A team from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, is now developing a fully autonomous drone system that can increase the efficiency and speed of response in rescue operations at sea. 

The sea is a highly risky route to take as traveling on fragile or overloaded vessels can often lead to the loss of many human lives. The project ” Quadcopter” is a fully automated fixed wing and marine drone system for search and rescue. The system relies on water and air-based drones working together, using a communication system to independently search an area, alert authorities to people in distress and provide basic assistance before crewed rescue vehicles have arrived.

Novuslight.com reports that the drone system consists of three components working together: a marine catamaran drone called Seacat, which serves as a base for the other drones, a fleet of winged aerial drones that monitor the surrounding area, and a quadcopter that can approach people in distress and deliver items such as supplies, healthcare aids or flotation devices.

The system allows internet connection as well as local communication with flying drones. It also has an affixed camera and uses intelligent algorithms to automatically assign search areas to different drones.