Page 43: of Marine Technology Magazine (July 2021)

Autonomous Vehicle Operations

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Meet EMILY the robotic lifeguard, of? cially known as the Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard.

Created with support from the Of? ce of Naval Research (ONR), EMILY is a remote-controlled buoy that recently was used to rescue nearly 300 Syrian migrants from drowning in the waters off the

Greek island of Lesbos. and complete,” a number of the tech- nologies that started out when Mulligan ran ACR continued to evolve and transi- tion into work he was performing with his new company, Hydronalix. That has helped the Navy and the military, but has led to commercial success for Hy- dronalix. “The SBIR investments help us generate new technologies that create more growth on the commercial side.”

From those efforts came EMILY, just one of the products derived through this partnership with the Navy. EMILY has captured the attention of the world, with hundreds of the lifesaving devices in use around the world. The robotic system can reach people in distress faster than a swimmer or someone on a surfboard.

The brightly colored buoys weigh just 25 pounds and can travel at up to 22 miles per hours and a two-way radio, camera and lights for night missions. It can be thrown in the water, tossed off a boat or bridge, or dropped out of an airplane. The device has a tether so a swimmer in dis- tress can grab it and be pulled to safety.

“This is not just for lifeguards,” said

Paige Day, a retired ? re chief who now works for Hydronalix. “It’s for public safety agencies. Not all police of? cers, ? remen, ? sh and game wardens or park rangers are trained rescue swimmers, but they can perform a water rescue with this tool.”

The Rockaway Beach Volunteer Fire

Department in Oregon, which now has two EMILYs, used EMILY to save an en- tire family caught in a rip current in 2019.

Complete, derive and extend

SBIR encourages small businesses to “complete; derive; and extend,” and

EMILY has done just that. Hydronalix keeps ? nding new uses. The EMILY

USV is now being out? tted with differ- ent sensors that can conduct a variety of 43

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