Skip to main content

Drone will attempt to rescue four dogs trapped by volcanic lava

A drone company in Spain will attempt to rescue four dogs trapped by lava spewing from a volcano on the island of La Palma.

Volcanic gas and ash mean it’s too risky for a helicopter to go in, so Aerocamaras will try to rescue the animals using a drone.

It will, however, be a challenging operation.

For starters, the flying machine can only handle a payload of up to 51 pounds (23 kg), so the rescue effort will have to involve one dog at a time.

The plan is to land the drone close to the dogs and then lure one into a net carried by the remotely operated copter. Once a dog is in the net, the drone will take off and fly the animal over about 1500 feet (450 meters) of lava to safety, before returning to complete the rescue operation.

“Our pilots are conducting tests with the emergency teams at this time,” Aerocameras said in a tweet on Tuesday, October 19, adding, “Due to the complexity of the operation, we need calm and concentration.”

Aerocamaras CEO Jaime Pereira told Reuters his main concern was that the drone could run out of battery power while in flight, explaining that they only have four minutes to get each dog into the net.

He said the trapped dogs have been eating very little food and need to be rescued soon, adding that the success of the mission “really depends on [the dogs’] action.”

Pereira said the effort will mark the first time for an animal to be rescued with a drone after being captured, adding, “If that’s the last option that the dogs have, then we’re going after them.”

Aerocamaras has now received the necessary permits to fly the drone in the rescue zone and is expected to proceed with its plan in the coming days.

Drones have long been touted as the perfect solution for search and rescue operations, whether for assessing a location hit by a disaster or for airlifting those in need. The machine is especially useful in situations where it’s too dangerous for humans to attend a rescue in person, as in the case of the La Palma dogs.

The eruption on the small island of La Palma about 850 miles southwest of the Spanish mainland started on September 19 and has forced around 7,000 of its 85,000 people to abandon their homes. No casualties have so far been reported.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
PCs are back on the upswing
An Intel Meteor Lake processor set in a motherboard.

During the pandemic, processors sold like hotcakes -- but the demand came to an abrupt halt in late 2022 and early 2023. However, according to the latest report from Jon Peddie Research, CPUs are once again doing better, with a notable increase in shipments. Still, these gains aren't consistent across the board, which reveals a trend that's most likely going to stick around.

The improvements are substantial. Jon Peddie Research reports a 7% quarter-to-quarter increase in CPU shipments, but also 22% year-to-year growth. Overall, the client-based CPU market reached 66 million units in the fourth quarter of 2023, up from 54 million in the same quarter of 2022.

Read more
AMD’s new CPU slammed as ‘anti-consumer at best’
The AMD Ryzen 7 5700 propped up against an action figure.

AMD makes some of the best processors, but this one is most likely not one of them. According to a video review of the recently released Ryzen 7 5700, the CPU is not only a letdown -- it's downright misleading. Compared to previous non-X Ryzen processors, the 5700 appears to be significantly cutdown, which affects its performance in a big way.

Historically, AMD's non-X Ryzen CPUs were pretty much the same as their X counterparts, but with slightly lower clock speeds. Take the Ryzen 5 5600 and the Ryzen 5 5600X, for example. Both chips have six cores and 12 threads, as well as 32MB of cache, but the Ryzen 5 5600 has a clock speed of 4.4GHz, while the 5600X hits 4.6GHz. As a result, many chose the non-X part due to it being slightly cheaper while not being a major downgrade.

Read more
Nvidia just fixed a major issue with its GPUs
The Nvidia RTX 4080 Super on a pink background.

If you've been unhappy with the performance of your graphics card lately, you might want to check out Nvidia's latest beta driver. This is a hotfix driver, which is pretty unusual for Nvidia, but it can be helpful if you've been dealing with micro-stuttering, both in games and on the desktop. The update addresses four issues in total, but to get it, you'll have to dig a little deeper than the standard path of updating your drivers.

Nvidia typically bundles bug fixes with its usual Game Ready drivers, as urgent hotfixes tend to be few and far between. However, this time, Nvidia chose not to wait any longer and pushed four updates for its GPU range. The new driver version, 551.46, may fix annoying stuttering issues.

Read more