Every year, the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team assists hundreds of injured and missing persons in the North of the Lake District. The average search takes several hours and can require a large team of volunteers to set out in often poor weather conditions. So the University of Central Lancashire teamed up with the Mountain Rescue Team to demonstrate that UAV technology coupled with crowdsourcing can reduce the time it takes to locate and rescue individuals.
The project, called AeroSee Experiment, worked as follows: The Mountain Rescue service received a simulated distress call, and the University team dispatched their UAV to begin the search. Using live video-streaming, the UAV automatically transmitted pictures back to the team’s website where members of the public could tag pictures that members of the Mountain Rescue service should investigate further. The results were impressive: A total of 335 digital volunteers looked through 11,834 pictures and the “injured” walker (UAV image below) was found within 69 seconds of the picture being uploaded to microtasking website.