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These Shark-Detecting Drones Are Keeping Australian Beaches Safe

August 28, 2017, 6:40 PM UTC

Australians at beaches across the country could soon have a technology designed to keep them safe from sharks.

An organization called The Little Ripper Group, along with researchers at the University of Technology Sydney’s School of Software, have developed a technology that uses drones to identify sharks and alerts humans before it’s too late, according to CNET, which reported on the feature on Sunday.

The technology, called SharkSpotter, has two parts: a drone that flies lie over the water to detect sharks, and a megaphone that tells nearby swimmers to exit the water due to the pending danger.

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According to the researchers, the drone, called the Little Ripper Lifesaver, flies over the water and records live video to see what’s swimming under the water. Using artificial intelligence technology and a proprietary algorithm, the device’s onboard software can determine whether the animals are sharks, dolphins, surfers, and something else. If it’s determined the objects are sharks, an alarm is sounded through the megaphone to alert swimmers.

Whether the technology will actually save lives is unknown. But the researchers noted they’ve been working on it for more than a year and believe that it will safeguard swimmers from possible threats.

They’ll have a chance to prove it soon: SharkSpotter will be placed into commission to start patrolling beaches in New South Wales and Queensland starting next month.