3D Robotics

Lifeguard drone goes from concept to prototype

3689559491?profile=originalYou may have seen the rendered concept video of a life-preserver dropping drone from this Iranian team before. Now they've built a real prototype. From Gizmag:

Over the course of four days in August of this year, the Pars development team visited the Caspian Sea to conduct a battery of tests on its brand new prototype. The location was chosen in part for its proximity to the RTS lab, but also because it's been the site of several tragic drownings in the past few years, including an incident that took the lives of six students this past summer. Among other attributes, the team tested the Pars' stability during flight, the accuracy of the life preserver release mechanism, and the bot's performance in both day and nighttime conditions. According to the researchers at RTS Labs, the prototype bot met their expectations perfectly.

The Pars was able to fly for 10 minutes at a top speed of 10 m/s (22.4 mph) before needing to recharge. This gives it a maximum range of 4.5 km (2.8 miles), making it ideal for emergencies occurring along coastlines and near ships at sea. It also proved to have a distinct advantage over its flesh and blood counterparts, since it can bypass treacherous waters with ease.

When conducting a trial rescue mission, the drone was able to reach a target 75 m (246 ft) away and drop its payload in about 22 seconds, while a human lifeguard took 91 seconds to swim to the same location. During testing at night, the Pars was also able to illuminate targets on the ground and make itself more visible to its controller on land using several bright LEDs.

RTS Lab has pointed out that the drone's fast speed combined with a capacity for several life preservers means it could attend to multiple people in one trip. With its built-in GPS, it can even be programmed to fly to a certain area, dispense life preservers to anyone in danger, and then automatically return to its base. Of course, the aerial bot won't be able to pull anyone to safety just yet, but it could be sent out ahead of rescue crews to provide some initial aid. The researchers are also hoping it could give emergency teams a birds-eye view of the situation and help them plot a safe path to where they need to go.

With such an important job on its shoulders, RTS Lab wants to make sure that the Pars functions as well as possible before attempting to distribute it internationally. The company hopes to refine its current design based on these trials and possibly add some more features, though it is still looking for further funding to make this possible.

Besides increasing its speed and range, the group has considered redesigning the drone so it can land on the water in an emergency and outfitting it with an artificial intelligence that processes images and sound to locate people in trouble. Presumably, if they receive the necessary funding, the designers may also construct an off-shore landing platform for multiple Pars drones, which was outlined in the original concept.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • I would suggest an aerodynamic package with a self-inflating (with contact with water) life belt or one man float and, of course, a whistle.  Something based on


    The unit could also contain an IR strobe to allow the drone to tracker the location of the vest to prevent multiply drops on a single target (victim/customer).

  • This reminds me of something :-)


  • it could blow away yes, winds in this climate tend to be very adverse, also according to my research an air filled object like a balloon tends to fall slower and thus is carried away like a parachute, but the good news is there is an equation for that. your drone would need to be very large for this.

  • new mode for apm "CPR MODE" the exact opposite of ALT HOLD up-down-up-down-up-down

  • Probably not enough weight in it for that Stefan; you might need to redesign the auto-inflate mechanism, then you may run the risk of false triggers.  plus in less favorable conditions an inflatable live saver may blow away from the drowning person? 

    Just a thought tho, I could be wildly wrong...

  • I undesrtand. About the release mechanism. I could make a quick (springloaded) release in 1 hour that would deploy when you'd drop the inflatable lifevest. Somewhat similar to a "pin" in an handgrenate. And this pin is then connected by a wire to the drone itself. (this way it gets pulled out when you drop the package)

  • Admin

    Probably because these may be hanging around the research team & they started using them to test/build. or The CO2 release mechanism may be little complicated to deploy and that too by person who is already drowning. But I do agree , its small form factor would make the overall system smaller to carry and deploy.

  • Like the idea.... But why not inflatable lifevests/rings? I mean the ones with a co2 cardridge for a fast fill. That should result in one of the following options: Smaller multicopter, Longer flighttimes, more lifevests as cargo

  • Admin

    Don't know but it is battery powered.

    Just kidding.   Great application irrespective of what AP was used.

  • Naza powered ????

This reply was deleted.