New Kit Turns Drones Into Lifesavers

Robot? More like herobot

Ryptide On The Beach

Ryptide On The Beach

YouTube Screenshot, Bill Piedra

Lifeguards can only move so fast in water. And tossing a struggling swimmer a life preserver may mean the difference between life and death, but few if any lifeguards are Olympic-champion discus tossers, so it helps to have an alternate way to get that preserver there. Ryptide, a soon-to-be-Kickstartered project from drone hobbyist Bill Pierda, wants to attach a life preserver kit to the bottom of off-the-shelf drones.

The immediate point of comparison is the Iranian-designed Pars drone, a life preserver drone concept now in development in the United Kingdom. Pars is a drone specially built for the lifeguard task. Ryptide, instead, turns commercially available drones, in this case those of the DJI Phantom variety, into makeshift rescuers. The kit attaches beneath the drone to drop the life-saving rings down to struggling swimmers. The rings for the Ryptide are water-activated, so they'll inflate when dropped but be compact in the air.

The crowdfunding campaign will kick of this month. If it's successful, the Ryptide project could turn a hobbyist toy into a lifeguard's best friend, provided there’s an extra pilot around to send the drone into action.

Watch it in action below: