Seeing the great white sharks below using drones
Cape Cod Times - 07/24/2015
Vincent Harris, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Northeastern University, believes that drones are a good, and relatively inexpensive, way to patrol the Cape’s beaches as well.
“My personal feeling is that drones are here to stay,” said Harris, who does classified research on drone technology for the military.
“They will use them routinely at beaches (that have) shark visits and attacks,” he added.
Harris said researchers at Northeastern were already at work on sophisticated software that would allow the drone to differentiate sharks from other marine species and alert marine safety personnel. It may take another three to five years of research and testing, but a pattern recognition program could allow a drone to fly a predetermined route on its own looking for shark shapes. When it finds one, the drone would drop down for a closer look and send an alert out to a beach administrator and lifeguards who could see the shark up close on a laptop or smartphone, know its location, and make a decision on whether it is a threat or just passing by.
“It is remarkably affordable,” Harris said. Bailey paid $1,400 for his DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter, about $400 for an iPad, and $100 for a backup battery.