Researchers at Fraunhofer, a German research institute, have developed a microphone system that drones can use to hear calls for help. The idea is that such a system can more easily find people in accidents and other disasters, such as using drones to find injured or missing people.
Macarena Varela, one of the scientists who developed the system, said during a presentation:
“If there is a building that is being destroyed, or if there is a catastrophe such as an earthquake people could be trapped under the rubble, rescue crews need to react really quickly. It’s difficult for them to find the location of these people, but we could easily assist them in finding these locations if we’re using a UAV flying over a big area detecting human screams and other noises.”
The system includes a database of various cries and other sounds that people in distress use to attract attention. Furthermore, there is software that should be able to calculate where the sound originates based on the delay of the sound, so that the drone and rescuers know where the person in need of assistance is located. The system’s hardware consists of 60 minimum digital microphones mounted on a drone. It shouldn’t be about money, but the microphones cost only a few tens of dollars each.
There is no data when we see systems like these on rescue drones. Technically speaking, there seems to be no obstacle to getting such systems up and running soon.