Ep 11. Life-saving Drones
Nowadays, the use of drones is a norm in recreational and commercial activities. However, in this podcast, Eddie Bennet from OMADA described the contribution of drones from another aspect: the humanitarian aspect. In Australia, a study was conducted on beach visitors showed that drones have a 99% public acceptance rate, with a similar percentage of people feeling safer when they see drones patrolling beaches. Although privacy, security and safety is still a major concern regarding drones being used in public spaces, they can become a huge advantage is the right regulations are being devised and followed.
Putting regulations in place for using drones as a means to save lives was not easy for Eddie Bennet. He talked about the challenges he faced in dealing with regulators as well as public perception. However, from his experience, he noticed four specific demands that need to be met and managed. These demands are safe, efficient and reliable technology, public safety and acceptance, media and public expectation, as well as the compliance in training. He describes each of these demands in detail, providing exciting stories as examples along the way. Eddie also talks about the interesting and exciting uses of drones in humanitarian efforts such as tracking shark ‘traffic’ around public beaches, using drones for life-guarding procedures, and utilizing the technology in disaster emergency and rescue to send help and retrieve information. Besides that, Eddie also talked about how the drone industry collaborates with other players to optimize safety and security solutions.
In 1972, one of the biggest banks in Australia invested in full-sized rescue helicopters as they saw the social benefit of it. The same bank proceeded to invest and support the drone industry in providing solutions for similar problems in 2015.