Cutting-edge drones are helping search for missing World War II planes and soldiers

the bentprop project

No doubt drones are helpful. They have so many uses but the recent one that I thought was too geeky was Amazon’s drone delivery service. I know it will see many problems but it can make online shopping even more efficient.

But if we want to use the drones for a really good cause, there’s the BentProp Project getting cutting-edge drones from the University of Delaware and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The project started as an effort to find missing American soldiers during the World War II in the Pacific region. While it’s a good effort, the limited technology gives very little success. But now, with the new drones, the team can automate scanning.

As early as now, the drones reportedly discovered two Navy airplanes. BentProps many expeditions are now expected to yield more success especially underwater. Thanks to such advancements in technology.

BentProp now uses the REMUS Autonomous Undersea Vehicle. These Remus robots generate 3D sonar maps. They give the team idea of what’s underwater and then a diver could go look for visual proof using a GoPro action camera. These robots together with LIDAR imagery and statistical models, plus the 3D Robotics octocopter drones, the BentProp team is given better idea where to start their search that, hopefully, won’t leave them empty-handed.

Only problem is that there could be still-active bombs within aircraft that will discovered. Finding missing planes is one thing but dealing with old explosives is another thing. We have yet to know how to prevent the latter from exploding but at least with the drones, we have more hope in finding missing World War II soldiers. Some families would be happy to know if and when it happens.

[via Engadget]

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