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COVID-19: Drones to be used to detect Coronavirus from the skies

The drones by Australian company Draganfly will be able to detect fever, sneezing and other symptoms from as far as 60 meters.

  • Published: March 31, 2020 11:11 AM IST

With the Coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc around the globe, many countries are coming up with innovative ways to control the spread of the disease. One way to control the spread of any pandemic is through timely detection. With this thought in mind, we now have air-borne drones that can track people infected with the Coronavirus from the skies. Also Read - Coronavirus: How you can donate to the PM CARES fund easily

Drone making company Draganfly has been working on this technology. It includes a specialized thermal sensor in these drones. Coupled with an intelligent computer vision system, the drones are able to monitor the temperature, heart-rate, and respiratory-rate of humans from a distance. Further, the drones can also detect people sneezing in large crowds or in similar scenarios. Also Read - Coronavirus: How tech companies are fighting against the pandemic

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The company also announced that it’s project has been selected as the exclusive global systems integrator for ‘The Vital Intelligence Project’. This is a platform for health monitoring launched by the University of South Australia and the Australian Department of Defense. Also Read - Coronavirus: Here's how you can help in fighting COVID-19 from your home

Classified as ‘Pandemic Drones’, these machines will launch and look for people with contagious respiratory diseases, including the COVID-19 Coronavirus. This will be the most impactful step in stopping widespread infection of any similar disease. A timely detection will help doctors treat patients in time. This will prevent the pathogens from spreading to a larger group of people. The measure is also a good workaround at a time like this when the world is falling short of diagnostic kits.

‘We had imagined that this drone technology would use in a relief expedition to some distant place. Now, surprisingly, we see the possibility of its use in our daily lives immediately, helping to ensure that our research can save lives.’, say the people behind the Draganfly project.

The small drones are reportedly capable of detecting low-grade fevers from up to 60 meters away. The results may not be entirely accurate. The number of false positives, for instance, has not been reported. However, the measure could act as a level-one filter, targeting people who will then need a specialized text. This could be useful in countries with a high population, including India. Similar drones have already been in use in Spain to control isolation or to notify people of quarantine.

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  • Published Date: March 31, 2020 11:11 AM IST

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