EMILY is a Robot Lifeguard That Floats

Considering robots are finding their way into every facet of our life, we're not surprised at all to hear that the next place we'll be seeing robots is our beaches. Well, probably not all beaches, but enough of them that it will probably make a few people out there nervous. We'd like to introduce you to EMILY, but as you can see from the image below, she's not all that attractive (in a non-robot sort of way).

EMILY isn't the name of the next supermodel-turned-lifeguard. No, it actually stands for EMergency Integrated Lifesaving lanYard, and as you might suspect, EMILY's job is only to save lives. Right now, in her current version from Arizona-based designers from a company called Hydronalix, the robot is only able to navigate the open waters thanks to satellite operators. However, that's going to change by next year.

Thanks to the designers, EMILY will be fully self-operational soon enough. When she is, she'll be no longer tethered to her operators, but instead will utilize sonar technology to scan for swimmers that are swimming in such a way that signifies someone is drowning. We have no idea what that may look like, but obviously the developers (and EMILY) do, so that's good. Once EMILY finds someone she needs to save, she can make her way over to them at a top speed of 28 mph, and then basically become a life-raft that the swimmer can hold onto.

The designers intend to have the fully realized version of EMILY ready to go next year, and intend to sell it for somewhere in the ballpark of $3,500. While we're still waiting for some life-like Andorids to pulls us out of the water in our critical moments, we'll have to settle for this for now. But hey, it's a good sign of what's to come, right?

[via Switched]