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'Little Ripper', A $200,000 Helicopter Drone That Will Guard Australian Coastlines Against Shark Attack

Mar 01, 2016 09:00 AM EST

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Australia will always be a part of the news when it comes to shark attack.  People are aware of the 'white death' or the great white shark's presence in the warm waters of the Land Down Under but still take their chances and venture into dangerous waters. The government is taking measures to prevent shark attacks to swimmers and surfers alike. Lifeguards will use long-range helicopter drones worth $200,000 to help detect shark presence and prevent shark attack.

Gizmodo reports that the use of drones has become a part of emergency services such as search and rescue jobs.  Little Ripper is introduced and a military drone's modified version. It could fly for about two and a half hours with a range of 60 miles and a range of daytime as well as infrared cameras.  A fleet of this drone will be used to patrol the coast and beaches of New South Wales which depends on human operators and recognizing the pattern algorithms to determine shark attacks. The drones will also deliver life rafts, defibrillators or position beacons.

Westpac sponsored the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Services on Sunday and will support new drone testing to be used in search and rescue operations.  The testing also targets to develop a system of aerial view for detecting shark presence by the use of advance vision capabilities.  New South Wales Premier Mike Baird said, "This technology has the potential to improve the way our emergency services respond when people find themselves in trouble." He attended the launch event and cited the trial as an 'innovative' effort to keep beaches safe, according to a Mashable report.

The drones equipped with cameras were launched this week to assist Aussie rescue authorities identify shark and provide swimmers help in case of a presence or attack. Last year, there were reported 14 shark attacks in New South Wales which includes 1 death.  The government gives full support to the new technology's development for future shark attack prevention, The Verge reported.

With the deployment of the Little Ripper fleets, many swimmers and surfers including the lifeguards are hopeful that shark attack will now be prevented.  The said drone will not only detect shark presence from aerial view but also provide ULB Life Saving Pods which contain emergency items such as shark repellent, medical equipment and floatation tools.

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