Imagine hiking up a mountain and twisting your ankle, falling over and unable to move. If you can get in touch with first responders, it can take hours for someone to walk to you. If the situation is more serious, a helicopter can be used to get you to safety. However, this is an expensive option and the terms must be right.
UK based Gravity Industries has come up with a different solution. Founded by Richard Browning, the aviation and innovation company believes Iron Man-like jet suits are perfect for providing critical care services to those suffering from health problems or injuries in a remote area.
Gravity recently partnered with Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) in England to show how sending an ambulance into the sky with a jetpack can not only look incredibly cool, but also save lives in medical emergencies where Time is of the essence.
In a flight (below) that showed how the technology could be used by first responders, Browning flew his jetpack to a person acting as an injured hiker. The ride through the hilly Lake District would have taken about half an hour on foot, but the "paramedic" could reach the waiting person in just 90 seconds by walking just above the ground at a speed of up to 32 miles per hour floated. 51 km / h).
The jet suit, which Browning has been refining for several years, has two small engines attached to each arm of the outfit and a third on the back, with the direction of flight controlled by hand movements.
Gravity notes that "it is not possible or practical to have helicopter assistance for every incident that leaves the vehicle and foot approach," adding that a jetpack-equipped medic would be able to " Locate and stabilize the accident within minutes of the vehicle's arrival. ”
And if you think it would be too time consuming to train someone to use the jet suit, think again.
"The way this thing flies is a very intuitive part of your body," Browning said in a recent interview with Digital Trends. "It's a bit like riding a bike or skiing or any of those things that are just about you thinking about where you want to go and your body going there intuitively. You don't steer a joystick or a steering wheel." The inventor said, people would have learned to fly the kit in just four or five steps, adding, "All credit goes to the human subconscious – it's just that floating, dream-like state."
While the recent Jetpack demonstration was deemed a success, both Gravity and GNAAS agree that further testing and suit development will be required before the system can be properly used by first responders for remote rescue.