Utah Drone Imaging has started a Kickstarter campaign devoted to the development of a forward-looking, infrared camera-toting search and rescue multi-rotor UAV which would be used in volunteer or donation situations within Utah.
The newly-formed UAV aerial photography and video company will deploy the UAV in missing person and natural disaster situations. The drone’s camera will be used to spot the missing persons. When located, the drone will deliver first aid supplies as needed.
The campaign started Sept. 26 and has received a total of $35 in donations from two backers, which is well short of the $9,500 goal. Should the project not receive the sought after funding by the Nov. 24 deadline, the project will be shut down.
Since the company believes that those serviced should not have to provide payment, it hopes to fund the entire UAV and its use through its campaign. The most expensive portion of the drone will be its thermal imaging cameras, which the company said can could cost thousands of dollars.
“We are a startup and we don’t have the capitol to build this ourselves, however there is an immediate need for this equipment,” the company said on the Kickstarter campaign page. “With winter coming, stranded and injured hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will increase that demand.”
Dire situations which the company had wished to help in have already occurred in Utah. Recent flash floods killed several people and caused others to remain missing. The company, which has received Federal Aviation Administration 333 Exemptions and employs an experienced FAA license pilot, claims it could better survey the flooded area than helicopters and search and rescue personnel due to the machine’s ability to fly at low heights and use the inferred camera.
“UAS’s [Unmanned Aircraft Systems] can provide situational awareness over a large area quickly, reducing the time and the number of searchers required to locate and rescue an injured or lost person, greatly reducing the cost of search and rescue missions,” the company said. “They can be the first eyes in the sky – immediately after an incident, letting first responders know precisely where to direct resources. The possibilities for helping ensure public safety are endless.”
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense