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Lifeguards along the Australian coast are about to get an assist from the sky, as a new model of drone specifically designed to both aid them and spot sharks is set to debut in the region.The drone, known as the “Little Ripper,” resembles nothing quite so much as a mini-helicopter, as points out.He also pointed out that an academy is being established, which will properly train lifeguards to use the drones.The Little Ripper is the brainchild of philanthropist Kevin Weldon, the founding president of the International Life Saving Federation, and is being developed in concert with Newcastle firm Skyline. More stable in crosswinds than other drone models, the Little Ripper also represents a cheaper and more agile alternative to a more traditional helicopter rescue.Initially, the trial program will be focused in Northern New South Wales, specifically around Newcastle, Hawkes Nest, and Byron Bay.
The drone is capable of one hour of flight time with a single charge, and its high-tech camera can be used for shark spotting in conjunction with a specialized algorithm that is currently in development.
previously reported, Australia saw 22 unprovoked shark attacks last year.