More than 900 public safety organizations in the US have used drones to assist them with situational awareness and search and rescue missions. Since Covid-19, drone operators have been offering services such as mapping areas in which the virus has been located, identifying homeless populations who might have the virus and transporting medication.
Drone company DJI has now activated a Disaster Relief Program to equip public safety agencies across the US with drone technology hardware and software to help with Covid-19. The program has so far deployed 100 drones to many of the hardest hit parts of the country. In exchange, DJI is asking that the recipient agencies share their successful experiences to assist in the learning curve.
So-called ‘pandemic drones’ can remotely detect sneezing and coughing, and measure temperature, indicating possible medical concerns. Additionally, police in France, Austria and Spain have used drones to broadcast warnings directed at groups to get them to disperse.
In the UK, video footage captured by drones is being used to shame individuals who are gathering during the lockdown. Spain’s military has equipped agriculture drones with disinfectant to distribute in public areas.