• AQUILA - Rescue aid for lifeguard on beaches
    AQUILA - Rescue aid for lifeguard on beaches
  • Technical Research - Components & Archetypes
    Technical Research - Components & Archetypes
  • Concept Ideation - Drone carrier
    Concept Ideation - Drone carrier
  • Concept Ideation - Self-inflated Device
    Concept Ideation - Self-inflated Device
  • Final Archetype - Outline with Package Drawing
    Final Archetype - Outline with Package Drawing
  • AQUILA - Rescue aid for lifeguard on beaches
    AQUILA - Rescue aid for lifeguard on beaches
  • Scenario - The Optimised Protocol
    Scenario - The Optimised Protocol
  • Final Design - Renderings
    Final Design - Renderings
  • Final Design - Prototype
    Final Design - Prototype
  • Final Design - Details
    Final Design - Details
AQUILA // A rescue aid for lifeguard on the beaches
What It Does

AQUILA is a public service design to assist lifeguards on the beaches. By applying a self-inflated platform and AED on the drone carrier, it offers an alternative protocol for compressing time spent throughout the whole rescue process.

The Inspiration

AQUILA is a rescue aid that supports lifeguards on the beaches. Targeting on the accidents happened worldwide, the WHO (United Nations World Health Organisation) report informs that drowning is the 3rd leading causes of unintentional injury death which wipes out over 370,000 lives every year. Even in Hong Kong, a region with small area, around 2,800 of drowning cases are recorded on the beaches in these 3 years. This shows the burden on rescue system and thus increases the risk of death of drowning victims.

How It Works

The aim of AQUILA is to compress the time spent and thus reduce death rate of drowning victims. It offers a tool to separate the initial protocol from a series of execution process to a parallel one. The design includes a drone carrier, self-inflated and propelled device, armband and AED.

'Optimised Protocol':

1. Notify
a // Lifeguard notifies the command station and activates the drone through his armband;

2. Reach
a // Drone tracks and follows the lifeguard through GPS on armband;
b // Estimated by camera on the bottom of the drone, self-inflated device is passed to the lifeguard accurately;
c // CO2 cartridge contacts with water that inflates a platform to gives buoyancy from the bottom of victim;

3. Return
a // Chemical box is activated by the lifeguard which emits gases and propels back to shore;

4. First Aid
a // Drone arrives on sand to provide AED. It wheels above the sky to give signal to the ambulance about the victim position.

Stages of Development

'Understanding the Objectives':

// To get familiar with the current protocol of lifeguard rescue process, research is carried out on different local beaches. On those with complex environmental situations, rescue time is informed to be the crucial element that defines the success rate of a case especially those victims with cardiac diseases. Thus, the design is a rescue package that covers all stages.

'Considerations & Limitations':

// As the environmental situation is complicated (crowded beaches in HK) and victims' condition is unidentified (fainted or unconsciousness victim), it is hard to reach to the victim either with a transport or unmanned device. Hence the design tends to act as an assistance to support the lifeguards instead of replacing their position. By taking the benefit of an aerial carrier, drone is then selected to be the core of the optimised rescue process.

' Technology Involved':

// GPS & unmanned drone tech
// Y-Type hexacopter (propellers in coaxial configurations) to offer a drone in a compact size and sufficient thrust
// CO2 cartridge with water sensitive bobbins for the self inflation
// Calcium carbide chemical to react with water and give acetylene gases for the self-propelling function


'Design Concept':

// As there are reasons that lifeguards should be exist in the rescue process to cope with various drowning situation, AQUILA is designed towards the direction of a lifeguard assistance instead of an unmanned independent vehicle. It acts as a supportive role which combines the capabilities of human and machine to collaborate and carry out a task or a mission.

'Design Anatomy':

// The main design structure is defined by the functionality and required size of self-inflated and propelled device and AED device. All elements that given to the form should follows the steps and accompanies with the rescue process but not going against it. By recognising this objective, components are then allocated in different positions in order to illustrate the most suitable design anatomy.

Future Plans

'Improvement & Modification':

// AQUILA is designed for lifeguards on the beaches. As there are many variables in the outdoor environment, it is great if the design could be modified to adopt into different situations in order to have a wider applications. By referencing the modern technology, products could be designed in a more advanced level that fits the needs and solves problems in the coming future.