ToolsNotToys: Blog Post #4

Every day, drones are used to make people’s lives easier. They have a number of applications across dozens of industries, and are used to make tasks more time efficient, financially efficient, and in some cases, to save lives. Drone’s have the capability to change how we work for the better. To put it simply - drones are tools, not toys.

Back in May 2018, a Hawaii man found himself trapped in his home by a fast-moving flow of lava. The lava, erupting from Kilauea volcano, was destroying dozens of houses along its path, and was threatening to do the same to this man’s home.

The United States Geological Survey scientists in the area, unaware of the man’s situation at this point, had deployed a drone to survey a new outbreak of lava on a nearby street. Soon after, they received word from local emergency officials that a man was in distress not far from them. They flew their drone towards the man’s vicinity to find that the man’s home was surrounded by trees and vegetation that had been set ablaze by the lava, as well as thick plumes of dark smoke. 

There was a team of first responders nearby, but officials were having trouble communicating their location to the man. So, officials instructed him to follow the drone. Using the flashlight from his cellphone, he constantly tried to signal his location as he followed the drone through the jungle. He was eventually able to meet up with the rescue team (as shown in the video below) and was later evacuated to safety.

Search and rescueTools not toys