Why a drone might be the best way to buddy up in extreme conditions.
Scuba diving is dangerous: from injures due to changes in pressure to hypoxia, hypothermia, and the hazards of the diving environment. The smallest unexpected disturbances, technical malfunctions, or lack of attention of a diver can result in deadly consequences.
You’d better have a companion, out – or rather ‘down’ – there: someone you can trust when times get tough.EU-funded CADDY (Cognitive Autonomous Diving Buddy) project is developing two drones: one to follow the person underwater, and another on the surface.
“The autonomous surface vehicle,” according to the international team of researchers in charge of CADDY, acts as “a communication relay link to the command center but at the same time it also plays the key role of a navigation aid to the underwater vehicles.”
The underwater drone has three main functions to ensure a safe and carefree diving experience: guide the diver, continuously monitor his body language, in search of signs of distress, and assist his work through automated camera and torch light.
In the researchers lingo, this “states” are named “dive buddy observer”, “slave” and “guide”. As an observer, the drone could detect the onset of nitrogen narcosis and signs of panic, and interpreting symbolic gestures communicated by the diver. As a servant, it could help the diver examine the environment, for instance, taking pictures, illuminating a site from different angles upon request, carrying tools and equipment. Watch the video below on the CADDY