Kwago Thermal Drone
A Filipino made “Search and Rescue” drone specialized for night operations was built by talented Filipino men and a finalist with the United Arab Emirates Drones for a Good Awards. The project code named “Kwago” is an app controlled drone equipped with a thermal imaging camera for heat signature readings from the ground, a pattern recognition software, auto take-off and landing AI (on case of collision), working sonar sensors and ads-b system, a fully packed search drone.
The project was patterned on how owls (Kwago) travels in pitch black with their sonars, adjusting the altitude or even velocity if needed to avoid collisions. This is a very neat feature specially the increase in risk with drones colliding with different aircraft. The sonar sensors enable Kwago to “see” these aircraft and in return enables the later to see the drone on their radar.
The Philippines are prone to natural calamities like storms, flood and earthquakes. Most drones used in search and rescue only takes photos or videos for damage assessment or aerial survey during daytime. We know that it is hard to conduct rescue operations at night. Rescuers only rely on lighting equipment to look for survivors like flashlights, floodlights, etc. It takes a lot of time walking through debris and doing searches at ground level.
This drone will indeed speed up search and rescue, if the rescue team can see the thermal scans, they can easily pinpoint the location of the survivors decreasing the wait time before they can be applied first aid. Another practical use is for scanning structural defects on manufacturing plants, I wish we have this one while I was working in a factory, this drone can easily spot the leak in the clean rooms using thermal scans.
How does it work?
The operator needs to plot an area via coordinates where the drone will fly and search. Kwago will then do a high altitude thermal scan on the particular area for a “birds eye view” and locate thermal signatures on the ground.
Each thermal signature that appears on its scanner will be marked and stored, after a full high altitude scan, those coordinates will be visited with a low altitude thermal scan which makes sense and removes the full thorough scan of the area. The approximate height of the low altitude scan is 40-50 feet.
The coordinates will be transmitted to the ground station or anyone with the app nearest to the location. Kwago can beam a light on command to point out the coordinate of the thermal hot spot aiding the rescuer to pint point the subject relatively fast.
Kwago can be controlled via an app which can act like a ground station and can be operated by a single operator.
Source: Drones for a Good