The Eindhoven company Blue Jay has developed a drone as a helper for lifeguards.
The device should support lifeguards and warn if someone is about to drown. ‘It is literally an extra pair of eyes for the pool staff,’ says Yasmine Bartelds of Blue Jay.
Tuesday afternoon the new prototype was demonstrated in the pool of the Student Sports Center on the TU Eindhoven campus. The students of Eindhoven University of Technology have been working on the development of the drone for years.
‘By showing the drone a lot of videos of drowning situations, it can now recognize them automatically,’ says Bartelds. In addition, the flying device can also assist the lifeguard with saving a drowning person.
For example, the Blue Jay drone can give a signal to the pool staff if it sees something suspicious, but can also throw a life jacket down. The first tests on the campus went well according to Blue Jay. According to the student initiative, the drone will be ready to be used in swimming pools within five years.
Although the drone seems to be ready for use in practice, there are still a few drawbacks. ‘The government is working on new laws and privacy rules concerning drones, our prototype needs to be adjusted accordingly.
Previously Blue Jay was already responsible for serving drinks with drones in a real drone café and the students of the TU also developed a drone for at home. As far as Blue Jay is concerned, the drone for swimming pools is a logical step to make swimming safer.