Campus and Community

Técnico students created a project on maritime rescue

SeaMe was designed by four electrical engineering students and aims to speed up the search and rescue process on high sea.

The idea first came up when the four students were thinking on how to succeed in the entrepreneurial curricular unit. First of all they wanted to create something that could save lives. The fact that two of them practice water sports may have lead them to SeaMe, a project that they are developing and whose main element is a small and simple device that will speed up maritime rescue.

João Vieira, Francisco Salgado, Alexandre Vieira and José Dias, are the creators of SeaMe. “After we came up with the idea, we improved it and we increasingly invested in its potential”, said João Vieira. In November, they applied to Ageas’ innovation competition and ranked 2nd among 34 teams. Then, they entered directly to StartUP Voucher, a programme intended for young people that aims to stimulate early-stage entrepreneurial projects. Although these two recent achievements will provide them finantial and technical support, they are looking for more: “We want to achieve a sustainable internationalisation”, said the electrical and computer engineering students.

According to Alexandre Vieira, the small device allows “to send an alert to emergency services on high sea”. “The device will provide almost immediate alert, thus speeding up the rescue time”, adds João Vieira. The wristband consists of a GPS, a SigFox Module and processor. A simple touch will activate the emergency contacts that the user will set by default through an app created for this purpose.

Over 85 interviews were carried out during the project delineation. “People were truly interested in the project, as well as the rescue authorities, and this is what keeps us motivated to continue our work”, noted João Vieira.

Técnico was the right place to create this project, in fact, “it wouldn’t be possible if we weren’t at Técnico and if we didn’t have the encouragement of our professors”, said João Vieira. “We are now minimising the device so that we can produce several units, which will allow us to do a pilot test with ISN, at the beach, with more people involved”. In a short time, SeaMe will become a small and functional life-saving wristband. “It is something useful that will have a significant impact”, pointed out Alexandre Vieira.