Drones & Search and Rescue: Working Hard to Find What They Are Looking For

A good friend sent us a sad picture last evening!

We don’t know the circumstances behind this sad situation, and don’t yet know of the outcome of a horse that was potentially spooked and is on the run.

But we do know that drones could actually play a very powerful role in this type of search – and in fact, have been used in the “Search and Rescue” industry for quite some time.

For example, Search and Rescue magazine, a leading industry publication, covered the topic in depth, including some recent research into how the industry and drone technology could evolve together:

The benefits of a drone based SAR mission are similar to the many other typical benefits that come from drone technology – quick setup, lower cost, the ability to reach hard to reach areas. There’s a great post that covers all this over at Dr Drone:


Over at DroneDeploy, there is good coverage of how public safety organizations – fire, police, SAR – are getting involved (and have been involved for quite some time.)


Look further, and you can find many notable successes. This only a few years into the industry.

But it is the ‘intelligent’ smart capabilities that come with drones that will continue to accelerate their role in the industry. This includes, for example, the ability to fly a tightly defined ‘grid,’ so that the SAR team knows the area that has been covered.

Dig deeper into the future, though, and you’ll find that the combination of actual mission performance and leading edge research takes the industry to a potential new role – AI or artificial intelligence based analysis of information seen in the grid. This would include automatic recognition of human subjects found in the overhead photos in real time.

Like any industry, search and rescue professionals are busy exploring, examining, testing and working with this new technology. We’re pretty convinced that they will find what they are looking for!

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