The days of human lifeguards patrolling our beaches are numbered – or they will be if Japanese researchers have anything to do with it.
Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have unveiled a new robot modelled on Olympic athletes that could be the lifeguard of the future.
The robot, nicknamed Swumanoid, can swim freestyle at 0.64 metres per second – just a third of the human world record – as well as backstroke and butterfly.
It was designed to help improve swimmers’ techniques but its developers hope that in the future robots will be deployed to patrol the beaches.
Given the increasing number of tourists on Australian beaches, and the subsequent pressure on lifeguards, innovations such as the Swumanoid could prove quite successful.
Perhaps you can take inspiration from the Swumanoid and launch your own lifesaving technology?