Arizona company creates robot lifeguards for Myrtle Beach

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Robot lifegaurds will take to the water this summer in Myrtle Beach. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Robot lifegaurds will take to the water this summer in Myrtle Beach. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Robot lifegaurds will take to the water this summer in Myrtle Beach. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Robot lifegaurds will take to the water this summer in Myrtle Beach. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

If you’re in Myrtle Beach this summer, you might spot something different about the lifeguards.

The city is hiring four new lifeguards for the upcoming season, but they’re not human. They’re actually robots designed to help the fire department with beach patrols and saving lives in the water.

The purchase was announced on Tuesday morning and firefighters say that robots will allow them to respond quicker in a situation where every second counts.

EMILY, which stands for “emergency integrated lifesaving lanyard”, is the robot lifeguard Myrtle Beach firefighters will use this summer. It’s a remote-controlled buoy that can hold up to six people at one time.

Myrtle Beach firefighters tested out Emily earlier in March and were impressed with its top speed of nearly 35 miles per hour.

“An individual can take this out from the back of the truck, toss it into the water and then have it going out there very quickly,” said Lt. Jonathan Evans of the Myrtle Beach Fire Department.

In total, the city is spending over $56 thousand to buy four EMILYs, which are made by Arizona company Hydronalix.

A Hydronalix spokesperson says Myrtle Beach is the first place in South Carolina to purchase the robot lifeguards.

“It keeps your rescuers where they need to be, so they can keep everyone safe, rather than just focusing on the ones that are headed for trouble.”

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