The startup journey is an amazing one. There is the roller coaster of highs and lows, the false hopes, broken dreams. No messing around at the start of 2019. I’d just come back from India where I was hoping to meet a development team to help us out with some pretty niche robotics R&D. I never made that connection, but got a bunch of inspiration regardless. Back in Australia and we were asked to cast our minds further afield by an engineering company from Reunion Island – out in the Indian Ocean. The island was dealing with a shark attack epidemic that was affecting tourism, and they were apparently pretty eager to try something new. We brainstormed for them and came up with the idea of the BeachView tethered drone solution. This tethered solution would have been great as it solved the problems of power, duration, and being able to stay in the sky and monitor a beach for the entire day. We would have trained up a machine learning (ML) model to detect sharks & swimmers, and then embedded the ML model on the drone. If it spotted a shark it would alert the local lifeguards. Meanwhile, tracking beach users and rips to increase safety on the beach. Too good! We sourced custom drones that had been tested in the arctic, and started designing the ground control system for the tethered drone. We examined the feasibility of applying our existing ML methodology to the shark-problem and decided we were good to go! Unfortunately someone had different ideas and our proposal went unanswered and apparently the government are still trying to raise funding to protect against the shark attacks. Who knows!