Shark-spotting drones will soon start patrolling Australian beaches.

The drones send a live video feed to a remote operator who uses software to identify sharks in real time.

Studies have shown that the software can be up to three times more effective than the human eye at detecting sharks, according to Dr Nabin Sharma from the University of Technology Sydney's School of Software.

“It's not about replacing human beings all together, it's about assisting human beings to get the work done in a better way with more accuracy. That's what the application is meant for,” Dr Sharma said.

Aerial videos of sharks have been used to train algorithms to automatically differentiate sharks from other marine creatures, surfers, swimmers and boats.

It can even tell sharks from other marine life, such as dolphins and whales, in real time.

The UNSW has been working on the shark-detecting drone project with Little Ripper Group, a commercial UAV company, since 2016.

Dr Paul Scully-Power, a co-founder of the Little Ripper Group, says plans are afoot to equip drones with a life raft and emergency beacon to drop in cases of emergency.

Real-world tests are expected to be announced in coming months.