LyF RescueDrone

Project Lead: Valentin Ibars (valentin.ibars@epfl.ch) and Paul Campredon (paul.campredon@epfl.ch)

The project objective is to create a device able to localize precisely and autonomously buried victims in avalanches, in a quicker and more efficient manner than actual commercialized solutions.

Each year, about 150 riders die in avalanches. A coupled emitter/transceiver beacon called DVA (standing for Detection Victim Avalanche) is widely used nowadays to prevent avalanches fatalities. It is a performing solution but often too slow because it needs a human to proceed the search of buried victim. This material allows to localize victims via a manual search done by rescuers, walking through the avalanche path. The search procedure is a diffcult task because it has to be performed with a certain technique, in stressful situations. It also involves moving over diffcult terrain with deep snow and being exposed to a second avalanche. Thus, the rescue depends on human factor.

Time is the most important factor while searching. The rescuers have to be quick. In the goal of improving effciency and decreasing intervention time, we are designing an autonomous drone using the principle of DVA on board. The device is compact, robust and ergonomic.

Just as the beacon, it is wearable under the clothes. Our technology will increase survival chances by reducing the search time and getting rid of human errors. The advantages of our solutions are :

  • Reduction of search time;
  • More effcient search;
  • User is not exposed to over avalanche risk;
  • Instant communication with professional rescuers.

We present here the need the rescue drone is responding to, and the constrains we will meet during the design of this device.

  • FP1 Detect autonomously the buried victim and transmit the localization to the rescuer
  • FC1 Safe the rescuer by keeping an emitting beacon without interfering the search
  • FC2 Be adapted to mountains weather conditions
  • FC3 Be energetically able to hold 30 minutes in action
  • FC4 Move autonomously in a uneven environment
  • FC5 Respect security norms and universal frequency of DVA

A drone with a high payload is used so far. The S500 frame is carrying a heavy battery allowing the drone to fly for a long time. A camera allows the drone to detect avalanche path border in order to stay on the region of interest to detect the first signal. The Pixhawk flight controller runs a code making the drone navigating autonomously without remote control. It follows the directions given by the DVA on-board to the victim.

Since october 2018, the project is supported by Xgrant. It gives us the opportunity to accelerate our developpement and expand our network.

LyF is also part of the Octanis family. It will gives us a strong technical support and a good feedback of our project from this community.

We are thankful for the help offered by these two partners and we encourage the reader, if he wants to get involved in an entrepreunarial or simply innovative project to consider Octanis and XGrant as a serious opportunity.

  • octanisx/lyf.txt
  • Last modified: 5 years ago
  • by campredo