The Coronavirus pandemic is still going strong and countries all over the world are focused on finding an effective vaccine that would help bring our lives back to normal. While there are promising examples found in recent weeks, it will still take months of trials to perfect the formula and ensure it doesn’t possess any hidden risks.
Finding the cure is only half the battle, mind you! Countries, or should I say their governments, are looking for ways of ensuring residents aren’t breaking the lockdown measures and not taking the necessary social distancing precautions. Apparently, the most cost-effective way of ensuring residents are following the civil defense’s rules is to engage fleets of drones with cameras. China was the first country to start experimenting with drone-fleet-based population monitoring as a measure of preventing the spread of the pandemic. From the looks of things, though, they’ve kickstarted a massive wave.
Best of all, that’s not even the only use of drones during the coronavirus pandemic. Countries like Italy are using drones for monitoring social distance rules, while others are set to use them (or already do) for vastly different reasons… and that’s something we’re going to discuss right below!
How are Drones Used to Combat the Coronavirus Crisis?
There are several ways in which countries are using drones for coronavirus defense measures. Some of them are already packing enormous fleets of drones, while others are still in testing phases. Still, if we want to properly assess the level of drone integration in crisis prevention scenarios, they’re worth checking out!
Monitoring Social Distancing Virtually Everywhere
The first is obvious – drones are being used as aerial social distancing monitors across numerous countries. Even countries that aren’t known for tech-based innovation, like Croatia, have started using drones to control their social distancing measures.
Which drones work the best for monitoring social distancing? This isn’t a demanding task. Basically, all drones with optical zoom will work like a charm here. Optical zoom cameras are important in urban areas where drones can’t get low enough to be able to visually distinguish the culprits. If we’re talking rural areas, all long-range drones with somewhat decent cameras are able to complete the task with no issues.
Aerial COVID-19 Detections in Australia
Two weeks ago, DraganFly announced they are to deploy a fleet of COVID-19-sensing unmanned aerial vehicles in Australis, following a deal with the Australian Department of Defense alongside the University of South Australia. The initial budget is set at $1.5 million for a fleet of the so-called pandemic drones capable of remotely monitoring and detecting people suffering from infectious and respiratory conditions.
Enforcing Lockdown Measures in France
Similar to social distance monitoring, drones are also being used for enforcing lockdown measures in countries with stricter coronavirus-related regulations. France is one such country. With 15,000 reported deaths caused by COVID-19, and roughly 140,000 reported cases, France needs every available tool to stop the spread of the disease.
US Police To Use Drones Equipped with Loudspeakers
Last week, news came in of at least two American police departments using drones for monitoring and enforcing social distancing rules. What started off with seemingly crazy videos from China is inching closer to becoming a typical thing in the US. However, we might be in for a lot of controversies here because one police department already purchased two DJI drones… and let’s just say the US government isn’t exactly fond of Chinese drone manufacturers and their data storage habits.
The Aerial Response Team put one of our drones over @VolusiaBeach to get a view of the social distancing measures people are taking, and to test out some intercom announcements. Overall, good job everyone! pic.twitter.com/oI2FqriraW
— Volusia Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) April 7, 2020
The UK Wants to Experiment With Chemical Spraying
The UK is already using drones for monitoring social distance and shouting at people who aren’t obeying the lockdown. However, a new discussion is stirring quite a bit of dust, with a group of drone enthusiasts calling on the UK government bodies to “legalize” chemical spraying.
Many countries are already using chemical spraying as a quick and cost-effective method of disinfection large areas. China, South Korea, and India already have their own aerial disinfection drone fleets, but European regulations strictly forbid such an approach. The question remains- is UK going to be the first European country to allow aerial disinfection?
Spraying Disinfectants Over South Korea
As mentioned earlier, South Korea (one of the world’s most technologically advanced countries) has started using drones to spray disinfectant over their territory. That, alongside COVID-19 detecting drones, ought to help us realize how far our technology has come. Drones can and will be game-changers in the war against the invisible enemy – Coronavirus!