Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, are working on a fully autonomous drone system that can increase efficiency and speed of response in rescue operations at sea. Water and air-based drones work together, using a communication system to independently search an area, alert authorities to people in distress and provide basic assistance before crewed rescue vehicles arrive. The marine catamaran drone, Seacat, is the base for winged aerial drones that monitor the surrounding area, and a quadcopter that can deliver supplies, healthcare aids or flotation devices to people in distress. Seacat provides an internet uplink as well as a local communication link to coordinate the flying drones. The next step is to put the entire system together and test it at sea. The project will end in September 2022.

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