Swimmers and surfers on Australian beaches will have an eye in the sky helping them avoid shark attacks.
Drones specifically designed to detect shark movements are being piloted at selected beaches.
The drones will be trialled at Queensland and New South Wales beaches later this month.
The UAVs have been developed by company Little Ripper in conjunction with University of Technology Sydney.
After relaying video footage to pilots on the beach, drones can be used to warn surfers of sharks nearby via loud speaker warnings and can drop emergency flotation devices into the water if needed.
Earlier trials showed a 92% success rate in identifying sharks from the air, compared to only about 30% using the naked eye on the ground.
The drones can also help save lives even when sharks are not around.
“The drone can be launched and out the back of the surf break in eight-to-ten seconds to deliver a flotation pod to a troubled swimmer,” said Eddie Bennet, CEO of the Ripper Group.
“This system will help make beach recreation much safer and is a major milestone in addressing shark attacks with very real ability to save a life,” he added.
Last year, there were 26 shark attacks on humans in Australia, two of which proved to be fatal.