Winner of BraunPrize 2005
The project makes use of existing robotic technology to help monitor the water on beaches. It serves as an assistant for lifeguards as it can be challenging to monitor big beaches and detecting people in need of help.
When a person is in need of help, time is of the essence. The Rescue Buoy can detect an emergency situation by analyzing movement patterns on people in the water. If it suspects an emergency, it can, after video feed is sent to and confirmed as an emergency by the lifeguard, move to the location so that the person in need of help can hold on to it. It does NOT move with a person on it.
The life guard on the beach can maybe detect an emergency, but it can also be very hard to keep track of the location once he/she is on the out in the water to find the person in need of help. In this situation the buoy makes it much more easy to keep track of the location since it can move to the location on its own much faster than the life guard can.
Once the buoy is there it serves as a marker and temporary flotation device until further rescue can arrive. The buoy can work in a team of buoys to monitor the full width of a beach.
Furthermore it is equipped with Shark shield technology, which is an existing system that provides an electro magnetic field around the buoy at a frequency that sharks are sensitive to and seek to avoid. In that way it creates a safe zone around the buoy in case of sharks approaching the beach.
The buoy stays charged by having a wave energy generator from which it can detach should there be an emergency situation.