Picture: Discovery Channel via AP

SYDNEY- In a bid to make its beaches safer, a group of researchers in Australia has created a new shark-detecting drone, capable of spotting the deadly fish from the air.

The battery-powered drones have been developed by The Little Ripper Group, which worked in partnership with researchers from the University of Technology Sydney's School of Software.

WATCH how it works below: 


Quicker and more accurate than the human eye, the SharkSpotter uses artificial intelligence to analyse images captured from the sky by the drone in real time. 

It also provides a live video feed to a drone operator who then uses the shark-spotting software to identify sharks.  Sharks are singled out from footage of surfers, swimmers and other marine wildlife, including dolphins and rays, while an onboard loudspeaker can hail people in the water below, alerting them of the risk.

The Little Ripper drones have previously been fitted with "shark shield" devices that bomb sharks with electrical pulses to irritate them and deter them from the area.

Dr Paul Scully-Power, a co-founder of the Little Ripper Group, said a life raft and emergency beacon can be dropped from the drone and the company is developing an electronic shark repellent.

“I guess the world has learned many years ago - defense in depth is the way to go. So this is one of the layers of the depth,” said Scully-Power.