Crash-proof drone put to the test in jagged glacial crevasses

Early last year a team of Swiss technologists was awarded US$1 million in prize money for a crash-proof drone designed to maneuver through confined spaces. With drones that detect landmines, replant forests and service slums to contend with, the Gimball rose above its competing entries to take out first prize in the United Arab Emirates’ Drones for Good competition. Now the drone’s real-world durability and potential as a life-saving search and rescue aid have been put to the test in deep the crevasses of the Swiss Alps.

Even when taking every precaution, mountaineering is a dangerous activity that throws up all kind of nasty surprises, not least of which are gaping crevasses that are sometimes obscured by snow on the surface. When climbers find themselves trapped in the depths of these icy caves, jagged faces and narrow spaces means retrieving them is no simple task.

Dr. Hans Mumm