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Robotics Centre and Smith Myers Announce New Drone Payload to Find Mobile Phones during Search & Rescue Operations

The advanced Echo SAR payload allows operators to conduct mass mapping of mobile phones outside of service areas

Robotics Centre and Smith Myers are announcing that the Smith Myers ARTEMIS Mobile Phone location and communication suite is integrating into the new Robotics Center Echo Search and Rescue payload for Unmanned Aerial Systems by Teledyne FLIR Defense. Echo Search and Rescue (SAR) allows operators to locate and interact with mobile phone handsets during disasters quickly. The Robotic Center Echo SAR saves lives by aiding first responders in finding victims.

The Echo SAR payload is compatible with Teledyne’s FLIR R80D SkyRaider™ and SkyRanger® R70 drones and enables users to find an individual mobile handset. Additionally, the advanced Echo SAR payload allows operators to conduct mass mapping of mobile phones outside of service areas. Likewise, the payload allows for communication between both individuals and groups of mobile phones.

ARTEMIS turns a mobile phone into a rescue beacon and was designed specifically for SAR and natural disaster situations,” says Smith Myers Director, Andrew Munro, “By integrating this capability onto Teledyne FLIR drones through the Echo payload, Robotics Centre has created a truly game-changing tactical UAS solution.”

The Echo SAR Payload and Technology For Safety

Other technologies are emerging that offer safety in different ways. For instance, researchers recently made a smart t-shirt that monitors the wearers breathing patterns. Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain chip which allows those with paralysis to control devices with their minds, will soon begin human trials.

According to Robotics Centre CTO Dr. Eric Karmouch previously, ARTEMIS airborne capabilities were only available for manned rotary and fixed-wing platforms. However, with its integration into the Echo SAR payload, the technology can now deploy within minutes via small quad-rotor Unmanned Aerial Systems.

“This new system can prove vital in emergency circumstances where a rapid response can mean the difference between life and death,” said Munro.

Currently, FLIR R80D SkyRaider and SkyRanger R70 UAVs are in use globally by military and public safety agencies. These all-weather drones extend “situational awareness” where users most need it. 

“The Echo SAR payload adds a critical new sensory capability to our SkyRaider and SkyRanger platforms,” VP of Unmanned Ariel Systems at Teledyne FLIR Defense, Anne Bulik, says, “From disaster relief to border security and beyond, we see many applications for small UAS mobile device detection across both our defense and non-defense customer communities.”

Written By

Jack Brassell is a freelance journalist and aspiring novelist. Jack is a self-proclaimed nerd with a lifelong passion for storytelling. As an author, Jack writes mostly horror and young adult fantasy. Also an avid gamer, she works as the lead news editor at Hardcore Droid. When she isn't writing or playing games, she can often be found binge-watching Parks & Rec or The Office, proudly considering herself to be a cross between Leslie Knope and Pam Beasley.

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