“Odyssey” in Russian: what technologies do volunteer rescuers develop to search for missing people in the forest

Last year, HiTech spoke with Grigory Sergeev, chairman of the Liza search and rescue team

He talked about how technology can simplify the search for missing people, including the Odyssey project, a competition aimed at creating technologies for searching in the forest.

One of the participants of the technological competition at the qualification stage

The problem is especially urgent for our country.search in the forest. A person here can freeze even in summer, getting wet from dew early in the morning. Therefore, it is necessary to search for the missing quickly - and for this you need a lot of people who will be combing the forest. Search and rescue teams use software for smartphones, drones, and, when possible, helicopters. But these technologies are not effective enough.

To find a new solution, in Russia, Sistema CFlaunched the Odyssey technology competition, to which he attracted technology specialists and search and rescue teams as experts. This year, the qualifying round of the Odyssey was held on June 10–13 at the test site in the Kaluga region.

About 1,000 were involved in this initiative.a person among whom are students, businessmen, scientists, developers, representatives of search and rescue teams and authorities. Applications for participation were submitted by 130 engineering teams from 42 cities of Russia. 44 applications have passed the expert evaluation of project documentation. 17 of them participated in the qualification tests. And only four teams coped with the task: they were able to find an extra, portraying a person who was lost in the forest in the area of ​​2x2 km.

Search zones in the qualification stage

They will share grants for 20 million rubles,and in the fall they will compete in the final for a prize fund of 45 million rubles. The zone will be larger - 20 km in diameter, or 314 square meters. km If the technology of the finalist teams will be improved to such an extent - they will work in almost any conditions.

Why do existing technologies work inefficiently?

To look for people, the forest is combed on foot. It can be assumed that it is better to use drones and helicopters. But they have a number of problems:

  • The imager does not see anything through the crowns of trees in the summer, and in the winter - will not see a person in thick clothes.
  • It is impossible to detect people on the video from the drones - but it is possible on the photo, but for this you will have to watch thousands of photos. This is a lot of work for a person
  • There are problems with communication: forget about the mobile Internet, there may be zero coverage in the forests.

What technology teams were able to cope with the task?

Team "Find"

In Yakutia, large areas and relativelya small population - if a person gets lost in the forest, you will not envy him. He can walk for a few days and not meet anyone. It is especially difficult to find landmarks in cloudy weather or rain. The man will just die.

Technologies "Finds"

Search and rescue beacons that generate sound and light signals and automatically transmitting their coordinates to the search headquarters when a beacon is activated by a lost person.


  • Long time work.
  • Weatherproof
  • Ease of use.
  • Large range of lighthouses (up to 3 km).

The Nakhodka team is already using its prototypes.lighthouses in Yakutia. She developed technology taking into account the behavior of a lost person, his psychology. When a person hears the sound of civilization, he goes to him. The idea is to combine the efforts of the lost person and the search group. Lost person gets landmark.

"Since 2011, we had an unmanned squadronaviation - quadcopters, airplanes, - says Nikolai Nahodkin. - The stage when it seems that from above everything shows that a drone with a camera or a thermal imager is needed, we have passed. On a sunny day, the imager does not work well, and through a thick crown - and nothing is visible from the camera. And for some reason people go to the forest in camouflage, as if at war. Therefore, as a result, we have moved from the complex to the more simple, universal. ”

Member of the team "Nakhodka" Nikolay Nahodkin

“When people pick mushrooms and berries in the forest, one of them returns to the car and buzzes to collect the rest. We decided to make such an autonomous beep, ”adds Nakhodkin.

Special beacons are placed on the knownlarge perimeter of the intended area in which the person was lost. When installing lighthouses, it is necessary to take into account the nature of the forest and the weather - so that a person does not exactly pass between two lighthouses.

They buzz three times every five minutes. Hearing a beep for the first time, a person might think that he thought. After the second he will listen. The third will let him know in which direction to go. And the closer to the horn, the more clearly the sound source is determined. At night, the flashing light turns on. So a person finds a beacon with a note, presses a button and starts to wait. Also at the lighthouse there are matches, water and biscuits waiting for him.

The principle is as follows: first, surround, and secondly, in the middle of the site, start the search with a quadcopter, a thermal imager, with dogs. And if some kind of a beacon works, the rescuers receive a signal and, knowing the coordinates of this beacon, are sent to pick up the person. In order to comb the forest, with this approach, many people are not needed, but a group of four to five professional or even non-professional rescuers is enough. You can learn to use the beacon in ten minutes according to the instructions.

We tried our search methodology, and there are alreadysaved people. We even started drawing stars on lighthouses. There are already two stars on one "pipe". We would like the technology to be accessible to people: that in any village, in the administration, there were several lighthouses, allowing to find a person without helicopters and the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

Nikolay Nahodkin

The lighthouse itself has a beep, compressor, sourceenergy and a button that sends a radio signal. Ten lighthouses can cover a distance of 10 km. The team had difficulty picking a horn: a fire alarm, for example, squeaks disgustingly, and in the forest the same sound is extinguished after 300-400 m, low tones are needed here.

Search and rescue beacons with sound and light signals

Each beacon is a repeater in itself, so there is no need to raise the quadcopter once againAt the moment, its assembly in a piece copy costsabout 33 thousand rubles, but will be reduced in case of mass production.

Installation of the beacon on the test

Nikolay Nakhodkin at the exhibition “Integrated Safety - 2019” became a laureate of the innovative competition of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation “There is an idea”.

Team "Top"

The "Top" team has developed a solution thatis a device weighing 1.5 kg. Weight will decrease in the process of refinement. The carrier can be any drone that can fly with such a load.

One of the main elements is a thermal imager. Russian counterparts of such a thermal imager make an average of five to six frames per second, and this device is capable of 50 frames per second initially. After the team intervened in the electronics, the frequency dropped to 30, but that was enough.

The updated firmware of the device allows you to see a person even through the trees. With exceptions: through dense crowns, for example, maple, in sunny weather and a temperature of 32 ° C, this solution will not work.


The ability to work at night due to the modified thermal imager with its own software for processing the data.

Directly on board, the software is looking for thermal anomalies. As soon as an anomaly resembling a person enters the frame, a 24-megapixel camera is used - it takes pictures, which are sent to headquarters along with images from the thermal imager. If there is a person in the frame, rescuers are promptly put in place. If the images are only suspicious, the second drone is sent to continue shooting.

Drone from the team "Top"

The cost of such a solution, without taking into account the work of programmers, is about 700 thousand rubles. Of these, about 500 thousand are accounted for by a thermal imager, of which, after processing, 70% of the components were unnecessary.

A lot of energy was invested in the neural network forpattern recognition. Without such a system, it is impossible to detect a person: in 20 minutes of flight, the drone takes 2.5 thousand pictures, they will even be watched by a few people for a very long time.


Team "MMS Rescue"

Radio beacons of the MMS Rescue command upon activationform a single radio network data exchange. Each beacon emits a sound and light signal that is heard at a distance of 500 m to 1 km. It is equipped with a button "Click and wait for help." After pressing the button, the signal goes to nearby beacons and through them reaches the rescuers. According to the coordinates of the first beacon, the search group advances.

Network search beacons. The small dimensions of the beacons provide a wide range of delivery methods to the point of deployment.

Feature: All beacons form a single network of radio traffic, which allows covering a large area and receiving information about the activation of the beacon from distant parts of the search zone, even if the radio signal from the beacon to headquarters does not reach directly.


  • The ability to deliver drones.
  • Weatherproof
  • Work with minimal human involvement.

You can place lighthouses in different ways - you can walk or use motorized equipment, drop them from aircraft. Upon completion, the device needs to be assembled.

Our team is a group of enthusiasts from the seriesindustries: technology, IT, space. Before we started developing our application, we reviewed and selected the main criteria for the technological solution: low cost and ease of use.

MMS Rescue

The cost of the lighthouse is now about 1 500rubles. The components are publicly available, you can buy them in stores selling electronic components. Batteries last for three days in the summer, in the winter this figure is less. Existing samples can also be refined - use a different power source, supplement supplies like water and chocolates that will help a lost person to survive until the arrival of rescuers.

Search beacon

After the final, the team plans to refinesystem to make it more integrated into the general rescue operation, to expand coverage, to provide communication with aircraft and special means, with walking groups, so that the operator on the tablet or computer can see the coverage area and all moving units.

We were not going to tear the jackpot. We have an idea that should be useful to humanity. If the system will save at least one person, we no longer gathered in vain.

MMS Rescue

Team "Stratonauts"

In the team "Stratonauts" there are certifiedrescuers who worked in the appropriate formations. They understand that expensive solutions will be inaccessible to private rescue teams, and if they appear in the state, they will be in the safe - "so as not to break."

A search complex that combines UAVs and a network of rescue radio beacons.

A feature of the solution is that allthe components of the complex are combined into a radio network, where each node of the network is also a repeater, which allows you to organize searches on a large area and coordinate the work of all the components of the search engine.


  • Ability to coordinate multiple search technologies at the same time to achieve the best result.
  • Relay signal allows you to work in a large area.

The Stratonavtika company has been an operator of stratospheric launches since 2010, conducting educational programs, scientific missions and commercial launches.

Therefore, it was decided to take ready-made solutions - for example, DJI Mavic drones were chosen as the carrier of beacons, which became the basis of a comprehensive solution.

Drop beacons have GPS as well as slowradio module that transmits the coordinates. High-speed channel is not needed - there is not much data. To provide a large coverage area, each of the lighthouses is a repeater, like every drone and additional beacons of the participants in the search and rescue operation. The coverage area ranges from 500 to 1 000 m in diameter. If there is no signal from the beacon, a drone is sent to it and receives it from above.

Each beacon has a light and sound alarm. A person just press the button to find himself.

Everyone in the group has an extrabeacon. It is smaller in size and is equipped with a Bluetooth module to connect to a smartphone or tablet with Android. This allows you to see online all the tools that are currently in the search. If there is a signal from at least one lighthouse, a person sees the entire map, all drones and the movement of all groups.

Search complex team "Stratonauts"

The team considers the main advantage of the systempossibility of its scaling. When it comes to global search, you just need to use more devices. The solution does not depend on mobile communication. It focuses on GPS / GLONASS.

Since the carrier is a drone that canBuy at any hardware store, it is more affordable. DJI Mavic models, depending on the configuration, are equipped with cameras with 30x zoom and thermal imagers. You can manage it easily, and learn it quickly.

The beacon itself now costs 5–7 thousand rubles for piece production, but this will change after the start of serial production.

What should you work on?

Experts have identified several interesting technologies that can be used to search for people in the forest.

In summer, sound interaction withlost person. When the foliage is dense and not viewed by cameras, and the imager does not see under the canopy, but will help only at night, sound signals may be triggered. For example, from lighthouses, which dump drones on the forest. Good results were shown by solutions that used sound as a basis or as an element in a complex. Thanks to this approach, teams could lure a person into an open space and fix it there.

In winter, you need to refine this complex withusing a thermal imager. It works in large spaces, but it definitely needs a neural network as an assistant. The neural network should process, help to find thermal anomalies and recognize them - to distinguish between an animal and a person. This will allow you to find the location of the lost, then to pick it up.

Neural networks should be trained on snapshots so that theymade a short list of images that people can see. In this case, the algorithms should work directly on board - on an unmanned aerial vehicle. Otherwise, you need to wait for their return and copy the data to the server, and then only copying can take about 20 minutes.