WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Drones May Be Coming To A Beach Near You

Photo courtesy of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

Summer brings a higher risk of shark bites and drownings. Lifeguards do their part but what if they had an extra set of eyes up in the sky?

A central Florida professor says drones will help make beach outings safer in the future.

Drones can fly over pretty far expanses, at high and low altitudes and can use remote sensors. That’s why John Robbins says they hold great potential for public safety at the beach.

Robbins researches unmanned aircraft systems at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

“With camera technologies or different types of sensors that are able to pick out things, discriminate things on the ground, like a swimmer that’s in distress or say you were picking out a shadow for a shark, something like that,” said Robbins.

One thing keeping beach safety officials from using drones to scout for sharks right now is federal regulations. They’re still evolving when it comes to the drone industry. Robbins is waiting for rules to come out –possibly in the next couple of months.

He said regulators have to look at how drones can fly safely alongside manned aircraft such as helicopters flying near crowded beaches. Researchers are also looking at how drones can benefit other industries such as agriculture and real estate.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida COVID-19 news, updates on special programs and more. Support our extended coverage.

GET THE LATEST

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

About Crystal Chavez

Crystal Chavez

TOP