Forest fires in the summer cause the loss of thousands of hectares of forest every year and threaten human lives. Most threatened are the firefighters who have to work in extremely difficult situations. The European-Union funded project Microdrones provides them with lifesaving insights.

These small and light flying robots can fly with a height of 150 m and survey the location, going to the heart of the fire. Going where human beings canĀ“t go and seeing what the firefighters cannot see, the sophisticated cameras can locate the worst of the blaze and guide emergency services on dangerous grounds.

The microdrones can also help to manage other emergency situations, observing from the air what is difficult or dangerous to see on the ground and thus providing the most efficient and quick solutions without putting emergency staff into danger.

The little drones can fly for up to 60 minutes without interruption. The main challenge they still face is to fly around obstacles and to navigate in a situation where GPS signals are not altogether accurate. The aim of the project is to develop an efficient autopilot for the microdrones, in order to make them more autonomous.

See also : MicroDrones project website

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