The Beast: a unique drone for emergency services

After an incident, it is often difficult for the control room to determine how extensive the accident is and which emergency services need to be called in. Having an excellent picture of the situation as quickly as possible is important to make a good assessment. With The Beast, Saxion's mechanical staff, in collaboration with various organizations and SMEs, is developing a drone to help emergency services in crises.

In short

  • After the outbreak of a fire, the first minutes are crucial to track the source.
  • The lectorate Mechatronica of Saxion develops a drone that arrives quickly on the spot in an accident to sketch the first images of a situation.
  • The Beast will probably be commissioned by the emergency services as early as 2021.

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First aid in case of fire

Often, the first minutes after the outbreak of a fire are crucial to detect the source. "Crucial information gets lost if you arrive late," says Abeje Mersha, who was recently appointed as a second lecturer of dirk Bekke's lectorate.  "So the idea is to develop an autonomous drone that can be at the scene of the accident within two minutes to paint a good picture of the situation."


That autonomous drone is The Beast. The Beast is a self-flying robot that can be on the scene sooner than the fire brigade can be present in a fire. The drone uses video footage, a heat camera and an odour sensor. That sensor can detect a gas leak or other hazardous substances so that rescuers know what to expect.

Deployable for all emergency services

A fire is a good example where The Beast could help. In time, the drone can be deployed to all emergency services, in case of accidents on the road, burglaries or other calamities.


The Beast

The Beast comprises several technologies that have great added value for society. The drone flies without a pilot, can pull out 24/7 and report back. Emergency services can work with this drone much more efficiently and effectively. Since a pilot does not control the drone, it must autonomically avoid buildings, trees and birds and prevent damage to the drone, the people and the surrounding area during an emergency landing.

A lot of practice and development

For The Beast to do its job, there is a lot of practice at the Twente Safety Campus and Space53. By exercising, the drone can be further developed to be quickly put into use by the emergency services. They expect The Beast to be operational in 2021.


Contact information

M. H. Tromplaan 28,
7513 AB Enschede
088 019 8888

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Date: 8 December 2020 |

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