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  5. This drone is being trained to follow human screams.

This drone is being trained to follow human screams.

This drone is being trained to follow human screams.

Researchers in Germany have modernized a drone with an acoustic search system to aid search and rescue efforts. Instead of the usual image recognition routines, the new system listens to human screams and other sounds of distress.

These drones would then be used in natural disasters like wildfires, hurricanes or floods, building collapses, or missing hikers. Especially in areas that don’t have cell service, this could be a life-saving invention.

Researchers began building a database of screaming sounds or other “impulsive” sounds made by rescuers to attract rescuers’ attention, such as clapping, kicking or hitting. Those sounds were then fed into a neural network and the system was then tested to see if it could distinguish the sounds of an endangered human from other sounds.

Yes, the drone has been trained to find human screams, and let me tell you, it sounds scary to me.

I know this is being developed for a good cause, as drones are a vital part of search and rescue efforts in remote areas. I get it. The thing is, I grew up watching Terminator. Isn’t a drone that follows human screams just a Hunter Killer?

Still, it might not be used for nasty uses. The Fraunhofer FKIE team has been working on the audio search matrix for eight years now, and it is still in the works to create better noise suppression and filtering.

When you’re done, the drone will even be able to fly automatically to hover over the area of ​​interest, giving search and rescue teams a clear indicator of where to look.

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