Feature

These drones track sharks to protect beachgoers

A team at the University of California, Santa Barbara, also uses artificial intelligence that analyzes the drone footage "to develop predictions for when and where sharks will show up"

Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is shark-monitoring drones.

Researchers are using drones to monitor sharks in California, said Jackie Snow at The New York Times. Once rare off Southern California beaches, "great white sharks are beginning to show up more often," leading to more frequent encounters with beachgoers — and the death of a surfer this summer.

Instead of relying only on lifeguards scanning the waves, a new program, called SharkEye, involves two drones — one that "travels along a preprogrammed path in the sky" and a second that follows a "meandering route to scan the water below." A team at the University of California, Santa Barbara, also uses artificial intelligence that analyzes the drone footage "to develop predictions for when and where sharks will show up."

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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