Robots Saving Lives In Greece

Life-preserving robot deployed to help refugee rescue efforts.

With many refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict by sea, the Greek island of Lesvos is receiving approximately 2,000 people each day. Unfortunately, many people are in need of rescue due to boats that capsize, run out of fuel or break down.

Enter Emily, a life-preserving robot created by Texas A&M University’s Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue. Emily, short for Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard, has been deployed to Greece along with a team from the university in a pilot project to help save lives.

Approximately four-feet long, Emily is a remote-controlled, floating robot. The robot, tethered to a rope up to 2,000 feet long, is moved to migrants struggling at sea. The victims take hold of the buoyant bot and a rescuer reels the line in. Although Greek UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] regulations do not allow for standard drones to provide an aerial view, Emily works in tandem with Fotokites, tethered Quadcopter drones, to give rescuers a view of the situation.

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