The capacity of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) are still in their beginnings. Researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer FKIE institute created an AI drone that can locate victims by the sound of their screams. Here’s all about the technology that can be a gamechanger in finding victims after a disaster.
Why use an AI drone?
According to studies, using drones for search and rescue operations after a disaster can help cover larger areas easily. it takes very little man force and search dogs. Recently, Macarena Varela displayed a prototype drone was at the annual conference of the Acoustic Society of America. Varela showed that drones can alert and assist rescuers by reaching places that they cannot get to.
Unlike regular drones, AI-enabled drones can also pinpoint trapped humans. However, at the moment drones are used with thermal imaging to detect victims. They are also used to deliver emergency supplies to people trapped in inaccessible regions.
AI can match sounds and locate victims
The brand new addition relies on AI to filter out sounds and focus on sound signature detection. The technology enables the drone to detect and match sounds with similar pre-recorded voice samples. This includes sounds like screaming, clapping, tapping, etc. which people make while calling out for help. However, right now, the company uses microphones used in smartphones to perform this.
The team conducted open field experiments where a drone could identify ‘victims’ who were calling out for help. The AI drone could perform this action within a few seconds. ” The drone would be ideal for rescue operations after hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires,” said Varela. However, due to operational constraints, they might not be suited for very noisy or windy situations.
Anyways, this is just the first step. With hardware and software updates, the team has the capacity to develop the drone to greater heights.