PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Robotic ‘Lifeguard’ May Be Coming Soon To A Beach Near You

The Emily rescue system has been tested across the country. (Emilyrobot.com)

Can a robot patrol a beach? Probably not, but one may be able to help lifeguards with difficult rescues.

The Green Valley, Arizona-based company Hydronalix has created a robotic flotation device meant to deploy to swimmers when a lifeguard can’t.

The robot is called Emily, which is short for Emergency Integrated Life-saving Lanyard. It weighs 25 pounds, can go up to 25 miles per hour and can be used as a flotation device for up to six people.

Not A Lifeguard Replacement

Hydronalix Executive Vice President Robert Lautrup says that Emily is not meant to replace lifeguards.

“People that take that outlook about replacing the lifeguard don’t understand the value of professionals, thinking ahead, working to prevent drownings,” he told Here & Now’s Robin Young. “I think the professional lifeguards see it as another technical tool to make rescues either more quickly or with less risk under many circumstances.”

Lautrup says that Emily does have certain limitations, but it can help get to drowning victims in conditions that are too dangerous for a lifeguard to attempt a rescue — for instance in a rip tide or rough weather.

Guest:

  • Robert Lautrup, executive vice president Hydronalix

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson are hitting the road to cover the elections. Our Tumblr brings you behind the scenes.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

February 4 4 Comments

Susan Tedeschi And Derek Trucks Talk Music And Marriage

The duo talks about their new album, "Let Me Get By," and about making music together as Tedeschi Trucks Band.

February 4 Comment

Do Babies Understand FaceTime And Skype?

It's reassuring for parents and grandparents far away from their little loved ones, but what do babies get out of it?

February 3 16 Comments

Telling The Story Of ‘The Invisibles’: White House Slaves

Of the first 18 presidents of the United States, 12 were slave owners, even though some spoke out against slavery.

February 3 111 Comments

Why Bernie Sanders Resonates With Young People

At the Iowa Democratic caucuses, he won 84 percent of voters aged 17 to 29, compared to Clinton's 14 percent.