Researchers are training drones to hunt human screaming

In order to help first responders locate individuals during emergencies researchers are training the drone that can search and rescue to detect human shouts which will find their sources.

Assistance from the above

Drones are becoming extremely useful in searches and rescue. If someone is lost and a drone is sent over an area to find them is quicker than trying to do the same by dog or people.

It’s recommended to utilize a drone for search and rescue when a person happens to be in the catastrophe zone like the scene of a forest fire or the collapsed structure.

The Challenge

It’s sometimes difficult for the search and rescue drone to have a clear view of what’s happening beneath them.

In the event of a fire, for example, smoke could blind their optical cameras and the heat can hinder their ability to utilize thermal imaging. If someone is trapped in the structure or a structure, drones could be unable to locate them.

The engineers at Germany’s Fraunhofer FKIE research center are developing a search and rescue drone to listen for the sound that humans are likely to create if they are lost or trapped for example, shouts.

Search and Rescue Drone

FKIE engineers FKIE engineers presented the paper about their rescue drone for search and rescue at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America on the 8th of June.

To create the concept, they started by recording audio of themselves screaming , and various “impulsive sounds” that someone could make in the event of need of assistance.

Then, they analyzed the typical acoustic signatures in the sounds , and created an AI to recognize the sounds and filter out the ones that aren’t important like drone’s rotors spinning.

When their software was finished they set out to equip their rescue drone with a variety of microphones. They then set the system to hear the sound of someone who was in trouble and pinpoint their location.

Next steps

In tests conducted in an open space, the drone that was used for search and rescue could determine the exact location of screaming victims within a matter of minutes Engineer Macarena Varela said to The Washington Post.

The team is planning to add an additional mic to drone to allow it to hear sounds in the distance of hundreds of metres.

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