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Clever New Lifebuoy Drone to Rescue Swimmers

Could you throw a lifebuoy all the way out to a distressed swimmer located half a mile away? Nope, you couldn't … but you could fly one out to them, in the form of the TY-3R Flying Lifebuoy drone.

The TY-3R lifebuoy drone
Device lands on water to serve as a lifebuoy, and takes off again when no longer needed | Didiok Makings

The idea behind this hybrid drone/lifebuoy is that when a struggling swimmer is spotted by shore-based rescuers, they'll just fire up the drone, fly it out to the person and land it on the water (and, yes, the drone's rotors automatically shut down), where the swimmer will use it as a floatation device. The idea, of course, saves lots of precious time whilst the team on the shore make their way out to the distressed swimmer and bring the individual back to the safety of dry land.

Once the swimmer has been picked up and doesn't require the device for floatation anymore, rescuers simply push a button and the device obediently and autonomously takes off from the water and flies back to the GPS coordinates of its take-off location.

According to the company that makes the lifebuoy drone - Didiok - the TY-3R can float up to two adults, has a communications range of just over 1 km (about 3,600 ft) and a top speed of 47 km/h (29 mph) and, as you might expect, is fully waterproof.

It's available now via the Didiok Makings website, priced at US$11,803.

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