Dubai is one step closer to achieving its futuristic dream now that automated lifeguards are patrolling the city’s beaches.

The remote-controlled lifeguard, nicknamed EMILY, is able to cut through water at 35 kilometres per hour, which is 12 times faster than humans can get those in need.


EMILY is deployed from the beach and then navigated by lifeguards using a remote control.

lifeguard dubai

EMILY’s design was inspired by the classic American hot dog (kidding).

Standing at 125 centimetres tall and weighing in at 11 kilograms, EMILY can travel a distance of more than 130km and conduct up to 30 rescue operations before needing to be recharged.

lifeguard dubai

Use of the remote-controlled lifeguard on the city’s beaches was announced by Dubai Municipality in September, but a recently released video on their Twitter page allows us to see EMILY in action.

Here’s the video:

Obviously, we’ve not quite got the technology to replace a well-trained lifeguard (we can’t imagine EMILY’s much good at CPR), however as a quickfire solution, EMILY’s a good first responder while the human lifeguards get ready.

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EMILY works in heavy surf, can tow four to five adults, and will survive a full-speed impact with rocks, reefs or pilings.

Oh, and EMILY’s operated by a jet pump, in case you were wondering. We can’t imagine it’d be much fun to jam your hand into a propellor as you’re trying to stay afloat.

lifeguard dubai

EMILY mocks her slower, human counterpart

Speaking about EMILY, the Director of Environment Department at Dubai Municipality, Alya Al Harmoudi said: “The move is also in response to Dubai government’s directives to keep up with the latest technologies and innovations in this area as well as to ensure that all the necessary requirements and precautions are in place to enhance to rescue operations on the public beaches of Dubai.”

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