“Listening” drone helps find victims needing rescue in disasters

As part of the ImPACT Tough Robotics Challenge Program, an initiative of the Cabinet Office of Japan, a Japanese research group has developed the first system worldwide that is able to detect acoustic signals such as voices from victims needing rescue, even when they are difficult to find or are in places cameras cannot be used. This system was developed using three technological elements: a microphone array technology for the “robot ears,” an interface for visualization of invisible sounds, and a microphone array that is easily connected to a drone, even in rainy weather.

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