At least 59 people owe their second leases in life to DJI drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs. DJI, maker of some of the arguably best drones in the market today, claimed in a report it released last Tuesday that drones were responsible for helping save the lives of at least 59 people since 2013. That figure includes the 38 lives saved in just 42 weeks. That's almost one person saved by a drone each week from March 2016 to February 2017.
According to Fortune, the 59 people rescued were involved in 18 separate incidents. The UAVs involved in the rescue of these people were mostly civilian drones or drones flown by volunteers. In fact, according to IBTimes, over a third of the 18 incidents had civilian-operated drones aiding in the rescue of the victims.
One such incident, which happened in 2015, involved a drone with a spotlight attached to it guiding a boat through flooded streets. The civilian drone operator was able to locate a truck trapped in trees and guide the rescuers to it. In 2013, a man was rescued from a "snowy field" in Canada while a drone was used to save two teenagers from drowning by delivering life vests and ropes to them. DJI also reported that a drone located missing kayakers in the darkness by tracing their heat signatures.
DJI drones along with other UAVs have had its share of glory and controversy as of late. On the bad side, a number of incidents involved drones flying near or in the path of planes. Though the owners are more to blame for these incidents, the drones were shown in a bad light for their potential to cause disasters. Drones along with artificial intelligence and self-driving vehicles are also accused of someday taking jobs away from humans. On the other hand, DJI and other drone makers will have at least 59 people defending them from those against the technology. That figure does not include NBA baller Aaron Gordon who lost his Slam Dunk crown recently after he botched his Intel drone-assisted dunk attempts.
DJI drones can make search and rescue missions easier and more successful. A study conducted by the Chinese drone manufacturer discovered that a rescue mission conducted by a team of five specially-trained people took a couple of hours to locate the target. A drone can do the job in 20 minutes. Additionally, drones can be used to survey an area before the rescuers proceed to the target. With lives on the line, it should be a no-brainer that drones be included in such missions.