The Little Ripper is set to completely change the shark problem in Australia. Little Rippers will begin a trial and patrol the coast of New South Wales in an effort to remedy the issue of increased shark activity. Head over to MSN for a video of the drone’s specs.
The $250,000 drones have been developed by Kevin Weldon, Australia’s first astronaut, according to The Daily Telegraph. Weldon, who witnessed a friend get killed by a shark off Burleigh Heads, Queensland in 1954, gained inspiration from military drones in their effectiveness in saving lives after Hurricane Katrina.
“He got kind of separated from the group and then boom, this shark just took him. It was very quick,” said Weldon of the attack.
Manned by a team of two, the Little Ripper’s – modified from the Vapor 55 unmanned aerial vehicles – use a camera with special software to help recognize sharks. The drone will log any shark sightings. If humans are detected, the drone carries multiple pods containing equipment like first aid, an inflatable raft and even a ‘shark repellent.’
Capable of flying over 2 hours and 10,000 feet above sea level, this drone will play a big part in keeping people safe and reducing shark attacks, of which there were 15 last year with one fatality in NSW.