In about a month, the Myrtle Beach Fire Department will have four "robotic lifeguards" to use this summer, which will help prevent people from drowning in the ocean.
"Primarily it's for us to get something out to a potential drowning victim that can help them stay afloat until we can get out there with a swimmer or jet ski," said Lt. Jonathan Evans with MBFD.
The robot is called EMILY, which stands for Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard. They are remote-controlled devices designed to race through heavy surf to get to swimmers in distress very quickly.
Evans said the water rescue robots have a top speed of about 30 mph and are buoyant enough to save about five or six people at a time.
"They’re basically like remote-controlled boats," Evans explained. "They have a camera on the front that you can use to monitor if you’re far out so you can see where you're going."
The robots are made out of foam, Evans said, so in case they hit someone during a rescue, no one will get hurt.
"They’re really cool devices and I think they are gonna help out a lot with our water rescue in the city," he added.
Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles