It sure sounds like a science fiction movie, but drones can now detect COVID-19. The initial testings are being done in Australia, and it could reach other countries seeking to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Drone maker Draganfly has been working on a technology that includes specialized thermal sensors onboard a drone. And an intelligent computer vision system to monitor the temperature, heart, and respiratory rates of humans at a distance. It can also detect people sneezing in large crowds or places where groups of people work or congregate.
Draganfly announced that it’s has been selected as the exclusive global systems integrator for The Vital Intelligence Project. A platform for health monitoring launched by the University of South Australia and the Australian Department of Defense.
These are classified as pandemic drones, and it will launch to detect people with infectious and respiratory conditions such as COVID-19, thus helping to stop the spread. Early detection and isolation of affected people is an essential measure to prevent any pandemic. The current problem is that there are not enough diagnostic kits for the entire population.
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Detecting the Coronavirus symptoms with Drones
‘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.’, says those responsible for the project.
These small drones will be able to detect low-grade fever charts from up to 60 meters away, which means they won’t have to get too close to identify disease. The degree of scientific effectiveness and false positives that this technology can achieve have not been reported. However, the result will surely need confirmation by more specialized means, but on paper, it is an impressive project.
Drones have already been used in countries such as Spain to control isolation or notify people located on public roads to get quarantined. Although these complicated tasks to help check the COVID-19 symptoms comes as a first. This pandemic is opening up the use of high technology to combat it. We have seen projects in artificial intelligence, quantum physics, computational chemistry, and cloud computing, which will help us overcome this.