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Water Rescues Can Be Done Using Remotely-Controlled Surface Drones

By James Careless

Move over, lifeguards and hand-thrown life saving rings: Terranova Defence Solutions‘ remotely-controlled Dolphin One surface drone can power its way to a swimmer in distress, and bring them back to shore safely without ever putting human rescuers at risk.

Terranova proved this point during a February 27, 2020 demonstration in the Carleton University pool in Ottawa. (Carleton is one of this Kitchener, Ontario company’s research partners.) During the demo, Carleton swimmers worked with the Dolphin One in various life saving scenarios. Meanwhile, Unmanned Surface Vehicle’s (USV) speed and headings were managed by a land-based operator using a remote control (RC) handheld unit; the kind used for consumer RC airplanes and cars.

“We chose that device because it’s easy to operate,” said Terranova President/Founder James Castle. “After about two minutes’ of training, the operator is able to turn left and right, auto-correct and manage the speed, and work with people who are in need of rapid response.”

Terranova Defense Solutions is the Exclusive Oceanalpha Distributor for government and military applications globally. The rugged Dolphin One is painted bright orange and equipped with reflective decals/flashing fog lights for maximum visibility. This shrouded dual propellor USV can run for up to 30 minutes on a single charge (and only needs 30 minutes to recharge), tow two people at once, and travel at speeds up to 10 knots/15 kph.

Capable of being deployed from land, helicopters and bridges, the Dolphin One is self-righting. It is designed to function in all weather and light conditions.

Terranova is marketing the Dolphin One USV to customers who work in the First Responder, Water Safety, Public Safety and Search & Rescue sectors.

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