Meet EMILY, the robotic life-guard that may save you from drowning some day

EMILY is a 25lb, 4ft-long, bright orange, red and yellow colored buoy powered by a jet engine similar to a mini jet ski and travels up to 22 MPH


Hydronalix's EMILY in action

Credit: Hydronalix

It might be the fastest, most important water buoy ever invented. That would be the Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard or EMILY – a 25lb, 4ft-long, bright orange, red and yellow colored cylindrical buoy powered by a jet engine similar to a mini jet ski, and travels up to 22 MPH.

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“EMILY is made of Kevlar and aircraft-grade composites and is virtually indestructible,” said inventor Tony Mulligan, CEO of Hydronalix, a maritime robotics company that developed EMILY along with the Office of Naval Research. “The devices can be thrown off a helicopter or bridge and then driven via remote control to whoever needs to be rescued.”

EMILY includes waterproof two-way communication radios, a video camera with speakers, a live feed to smart phones and tablets, lights for night navigation and a microphone for the victim to talk back to rescuers. The systems can also be outfitted with sonar to detect underwater movements if needed.

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Once a victim grabs onto the craft, it can tow a single person back to shore or help mark their location for a boat rescue.

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