Panic Button App Sends Drones to the Rescue

The LifeLine Response app can call the police and dispatch a drone at 60mph to record the scene is a person is in distress. To use the system, users fire up the app and tell controllers they are concerned. If they take their thumb off the button, a drone is sent and the police are called, using the location of the phone.

Founder Peter Cahill came up with the idea after two of his nieces were the subjects of an attempted abduction. According to Cahill, about 30 college, corporate and hospital campuses have already signed on to be among the first to use the technology – although they have not been named.

In areas where drones are permitted, a drone will also be deployed at 60 mph to the user’s GPS location and then record the incident. A speaker on the drone will alert warnings and alerts. The drone can stay with the victim until police arrive or it can follow a fleeing suspect.

‘A city the size of Chicago would need to buy roughly 50 drones from LifeLine to adequately supply its citizens,’ Cahill said. 

The drones would remain in a hangar at law enforcement headquarters and can travel up to 65 miles per hour to arrive at the scene of a crime. 

LifeLine Response, Cahill’s firm, has worked in collaboration with an FAA lawyer to ensure the app and drone usage comply with current FAA regulations.

‘This is NOT simply a panic button app,’ the firm says.

‘Think of it as a home alarm system you can take with you everywhere you go.

‘We empower those who feel unsafe by bridging the gap to first responders, with a focus on allowing anyone, anywhere, at any time to feel safe and to embrace a mobile safety solution for themselves, their family, friends and communities. 

‘We understand every second counts in an emergency, and if you cannot verbally articulate what is happening to you or to others by calling 9-1-1; we are the trusted solution.’

The app has two settings which alert a call center in Erie.

The app is available for iPhone and Android, and will soon be available for Windows smartphones. The cost of a yearly subscription is $9.99. 

Giacomo Listi, chief information officer for the company, told the Daily Herald that while the drone is intended to collect information from the scene, its highest priority is to scare off an attacker and prevent injury.

One activates as soon as a user who feel they’re in danger takes his or her thumb off the app’s ‘dummy switch.’ 

The other setting works if a preset time elapses without the user entering a code to cancel the first alert.

The user’s GPS location is then transmitted to law enforcement, and the phone emits an alarm sound to signal that officials have been notified of the user’s location.


Source: Daily Mail



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