The Noras Performance out of Portugal has created a U-Safe lifesaving buoy that automatically drives itself around the water by remote control looking for people in need of saving, according to New Atlas.
The U-shaped device is battery powered, and once in the water propels itself using a pair of electric turbines that take in the water and fire it back out.
A remote control thumbstick allows the operator to control U-Safe’s drive as it makes its way through the water. It is one of the quickest ways to get lifesaving gear to a person who may be drowning, particularly with surfing.
Once the device reaches the victim, the U-Safe has enough power to drag the person back to safety. This could be used on large ships that would normally have to launch a rescue boat.
Patent filings pose for potential changes in the future such as charging with solar power, automatic self-deployment and self-driving to the location of a crew member who has gone overboard with GPS location.