Riderless™ recently went out to Kaslo, BC to conduct a second demo to the Search and Rescue team in a wilderness location several kilometers outside of town.
The demo was a success, with two flights completed without incident. The first used the Sentry to scan the top of a plateau from a lower area, and the second used the Sentry piloted from the plateau to successfully search for a dummy wearing a red jacket at the base of the cliff. The dummy was found in several seconds using the Sentry’s on-board live streaming camera and a 5″ portable viewing screen/video receiver, which were operated by a second member of the flight team.
One planned flight over a giant cliff near the water’s edge was called off due to extremely high, gusty winds that picked up right before take-off.
The rugged airframe performed stably and suitably for the conditions, including some light rain which was no match for the Sentry’s IP57-rated weatherproof body. The flight stability and aircraft performance were exceptional and the unique take-off and landing methods (including a hand catch) proved to be simple, quick and safe.
Some issues were encountered in ease of piloting when the Sentry wasn’t facing directly ahead, which will be fixed by a control system recognizing the user’s orientation relative to the Sentry. The noise from the UAV was also louder than predicted, but in a real search this would be incredibly useful to alert victims that rescuers were looking for them.
Search and rescue team members were excited about the possibilities that the Sentry offered:
- “Well, we know where he is, we know how to get down there and find him.”
- “Much safer than peeking over the edge ourselves, right?”
- “Very cool. That’s awesome.”
- “It’s very light”
- “Made leaps and bounds since his first visit, after our recommendations”
- “The resolution on the camera’s great, it’s exactly what we need to look over obstacles, find out the situation, how we’re going to approach it”
Riderless™ looks forward to continuing working with Kaslo and other teams across B.C. to develop the ultimate tool for wilderness and backcountry Search and Rescue.