Lifeguards, rejoice: You can now issue orders over bodies of water directly by drone using a new megaphone designed to be carried by a waterproof drone. Swellpro’s new flying speaker is 100 watts, can be heard up to 40M horizontally from the drone, and could be a really useful tool for lifeguards and others.
Imagine you’re a lifeguard working a busy beach. You spot a boat doing unsafe maneuvers just outside the swimming zone. Unfortunately, it’s too far from the beach for your hand-held megaphone to reach. You can’t swim there (well you could, but you’d have to abandon your station), yet you feel their actions are potentially hazardous to swimmers. What do you do? Well, a new product released by Swellpro – which manufacturers the waterproof SplashDrone – may be a solution: A waterproof loudspeaker that can attach to the SplashDrone 3+ drone and deliver your message – loud and clear.
The HQQ megaphone module is essentially a payload consisting of the speaker itself, along with an integrated streaming camera. The system looks like this:
The loudspeaker/camera unit, of course, is made to be attached to a Swellpro SplashDrone. These drones, as you’re likely aware, are completely waterproof. They can land on the water and even submerge themselves briefly before taking to the air again.
For this application, however, the drone would be flying. Here’s what Swellpro has to say about the product:
The all-weather, waterproof SplashDrone 3+ with HHQ megaphone module is a simple, cost-effective tool to observe a scene in real-time and provide clear, loud instructions to people on the ground. At an altitude of 30 meters, the HHQ can broadcast live or prerecorded messages, tones, or music clearly for law enforcement or publicity tasks.
A flying hailing device
Put it all together and you’ve got a flying loudspeaker.
The system plays either live or recorded voice. And, using the integrated camera, you can imagine a lifeguard coaching a person caught in a riptide: “Do not fight the current. Allow it to carry you slightly offshore and it will release you.” Not only would the instructions help someone in a panic, but they’d also reassure them that lifeguards are aware. “Hang on: A boat will be there in a moment.”
The wireless transmission range for the loudspeaker is two kilometres. The company says the speaker has a quality that can punch through even noisy environments. By using the camera, the operator can also effectively position the drone in the best spot to ensure the widest reach of the audio message.
Swellpro envisions multiple scenarios where this drone and speaker combo could be used. Police could use it at the scene of an accident to tell bystanders to remain. And because it’s waterproof, rain is not a factor. That means deployment in weather that would keep other drones grounded.
Crowd control is another use-case. People tend to pay attention to drones, especially if they know they’ve been dispatched by First Responders who are taking in a live view of the scene. Speakers can also be used for what Swellpro calls “Rescue Support”.
Often in rescue situations, helping the victims understand what the rescuers are doing is crucial to a successful operation. With the HHQ, victims can be safely kept informed and reassured while the operation progresses.
Here at DroneDJ Headquarters, we have a neighbor who recently put in a swimming pool. There have been a couple of weekend-long drop-ins where people are continuously swimming and visiting and playing music. It’s not insanely loud, but it’s loud enough that it disrupts our little ravine enclave – and has disturbed other neighbors as well. It’s, well, annoying.
The next time they’ve got their pool party happening, I’d love to fly nearby, crank the volume to 11, and simply say: “SHUT UP!!!!” before flying away.
I won’t, of course. But it’s a great use-case.
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