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'Pandemic drones' could single people out in a crowd for coughing, sneezing, or running a temperature, developers say — here's how they work

'Pandemic drones' could single people out in a crowd for coughing, sneezing, or running a temperature, developers say — here's how they work
Draganfly pandemic drone will detect people infected with coronavirus - Business Insider

The drones will use sensors and computer vision systems to monitor people's temperature and heart rates.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly
  • Drone company Draganfly announced it will work with the Australian Department of Defense and the University of South Australia on "pandemic drones."
  • The drones will use sensors and computer vision systems to monitor people's temperature and heart rates. 
  • The system is also able to detect people coughing in crowds.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Canadian drone company Draganfly announced a collaboration on "pandemic drones" with the Australian Department of Defense and the University of South Australia 

Robots and drones are being used around the world to fight COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, from taking temperature to preparing meals and sanitizing surfaces where the virus may live.

In video demonstrations sent to Business Insider, the drones use computer vision systems to monitor temperatures and heart and respiratory rates of people from above and single out people sneezing or coughing. 

Here's what they look like. 

The drones are equipped with cameras and sensors with special health monitoring capabilities.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly

The drone can narrow in on a person to collect information about heart rate, temperature, and respiratory conditions.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly

It can detect when someone is coughing, a symptom of COVID-19.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly

In a statement, Draganfly said that these drones would likely be used for crowds like at convention centers or cruise ships.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly

Draganfly also sees a possible security use around borders or critical infrastructure.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly

It could also be used with vulnerable populations, like nursing home facilities.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly

The drones are remotely controlled by operators.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly

The drones sending reading information back.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly

The project has an initial budget of $1.5 million.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly

"We had imagined the technology being used in a future relief expedition to some far-away place. Now, shockingly, we see a need for its use in our everyday lives immediately" Dr. Javaan Chahl, defense science and technology chair at the University of South Australia said.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly

Draganfly says it is working on distribution and securing a supply chain for commercialization as soon as possible.

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Draganfly pandemic drone.
DraganFly
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