Thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, a group of Virginia Tech engineers hopes to redefine these search and rescue protocols by teaming up human searchers with unmanned aerial robots, or drones.

In efforts led by Ryan Williams, an assistant professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering within the College of Engineering, these drones will use autonomous algorithms and machine learning to complement search and rescue efforts from the air. The drones will also suggest tasks and send updated information to human searchers on the ground. 

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https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2019/04/drone-enhanced-lost-person-search-and-rescue.html