Meet Emily, The Robot Lifeguard

Every summer, the American Red Cross teaches thousands of people the basics of lifeguarding. But there’s one guard on duty that didn’t take a Red Cross class — meet Emily, the robot lifeguard!

According to the Popular Science article:

This summer, EMILY (for EMergency Integrated Lifesaving lanYard) began patrolling Malibu’s Zuma Beach and will watch over about 25 more by December.

Although lifeguards operate this version by remote control, next year’s model will autonomously save potential drowning victims as reliably as a human. Once a lifeguard tosses EMILY into the surf, its sonar device will scan for the underwater movements associated with swimmers in distress. Its electric, Jet Ski–like impeller drives it at 28 mph through even the roughest chop, getting a flotation device—itself—to victims six times as fast as a lifeguard would. The ’bot’s camera and speakers will let an onshore lifeguard calm the person and instruct him to wait for human help or to hold on as EMILY ferries him back.

Here’s EMILY in action:

Since we don’t have any EMILYs in Oregon (yet), we’re still reliant on the life-saving skills of good ol’ people. If you know someone who’d love to be a lifeguard or if you want to become one yourself, get in touch with us.