According to company lore, CEO Blake Resnick developed BRINC’s Lemur drone to assist law enforcement and security services in responding to the kinds of horror he witnessed during the 2017 Mandalay Bay shootings in his Las Vegas hometown – a helping hand the precocious tech boss is now extending to Ukraine rescue workers grappling with the nightmare inflicted by invading Russian troops.
On Sunday Resnick returned from a trip to an undesignated spot along the Polish border, where he delivered $150,000 in BRINC drones and material to members of Ukraine’s Emergency Services working to find, reach, and treat people injured in Russian assaults. The move marks yet another effort not only by UAV manufacturers, but also countless companies, charitable organizations, and private people to assist Ukraine’s defense against the nightmarish Russian onslaught. In BRINC’s case, that meant donating its Lemur drones designed to be tools for forces responding to disaster situations – and supplying quick training to Ukrainian recipients for most effective use.
“Their spirit and determination in the face of evil and unbelievable pressure is remarkable and we just want to do everything we can to help,” Resnick – who himself is of Ukrainian heritage – told Seattle’s King5 TV. “The folks, you know, looking under collapsed buildings, trying to find survivors and deal with the destruction that Russia is, unfortunately, causing on their country.”
Resnick, 22, made the trip to Poland’s border area with Ukraine for the exchange of 10 BRINC drones and a two-day training event of rescue workers who will now pilot them. The encounter was arranged with the assistance of the nonprofit Ukraine Freedom Alliance that’s attempting to better channel the flow of supplies, help, and even volunteers from abroad to the country’s defense efforts. That, according to Resnick, followed the Ukrainian government’s earlier appeal to BRINC for support in its struggle against the Russian invaders.
The Ukraine’s direct turn to BRINC drone tech isn’t surprising.
BRINC’s Lemur quadcopter drones are designed to navigate hostile or dangerous flight situations. Once there, they feed back clear visual information of what they encounter and enable verbal exchanges between controllers and victims on the ground.
Those capacities are particularly suited to the kinds of calamitous post-bombing search and rescue scenarios Ukraine’s responders now face. Meanwhile, BRINC’s Lemur drone operates using laser-based Lidar tech rather than satellite-based GPS signals, which Russian forces have reportedly been able to hack to identify and bomb the location of operators.
According to various media accounts, initial BRINC training of Ukrainian pilots quickly gave way to demonstrations of how Lemur craft can force a blocked door open, break through windows, fly within confined spaces, and right themselves and get aloft again after being knocked on their back.
As part of that, the new operators were shown how the UAVs can be navigated into bombed apartments and other collapsed structures and carefully flown to hunt for, find, and possibly communicate with victims trapped inside. That was precisely what the craft were used for to great effect amid the rubble of the Champlain Towers condominium collapse last year in Surfside, Florida.
BRINC drones’ conception and previous performance, said Resnick, made them a natural asset to put into the hands of Ukraine’s rescue workers.
“It’s one of the only drones in the world that can operate in zero light and GPS denied conditions,” explained Resnick on King5 TV. “We build the only drone in the world with two-way audio.”