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Swiss air rescue company Rega has introduced a drone that can scan large areas and locate missing people autonomously. The Rega drone is equipped with multiple sensors that allow it to locate people from the air, including infrared and daylight cameras.
With the appearance of a mini helicopter, the Rega drone features three rotor blades with a rotor diameter of just over two meters (6.5 feet). It is able to fly at an altitude of 80 to 100 meters (260 to 330 feet) and uses satellite navigation. The Rega drone also features an anti-collision system, allowing it to autonomously detect and avoid obstacles, including other aircraft or power lines. In case of emergency, the drone is equipped with a parachute.
The Rega drone’s self-learning algorithm presumes it has found a missing person based on the pixel pattern of the images it detects, and the drone then relays the information to the ground operator, the company said in a press release. There are also plans for the Rega drone to use a phone tracking function to locate a mobile phone on a missing person in a remote region from a distance of several hundred meters.
The company says the Rega drone is not deployed over airports, airfields or densely population areas.