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In collaboration with drone manufacturer Draganfly, the police department in Westport, Connecticut is testing “pandemic drones” designed to monitor whether people are adhering to social distancing rules, as first spotted by CNET.
According to a press release, the drones’ advertised capabilities are extensive. They feature “a specialized sensor and computer vision systems that can display fever/temperature, heart and respiratory rates, as well as detect people sneezing and coughing in crowds, and wherever groups of people may work or congregate.”
The drones don’t even have to get close to identify symptoms.
“The technology can accurately detect infectious conditions from a distance of 190 feet as well as measure social distancing for proactive public safety practices,” reads the press release.
The news comes after both China and Spain implemented loudspeaker-equipped drones to remotely publicly shame people for breaking quarantine.
“Together we are the first in the U.S. to implement this state-of-the-art technology to analyze data in a way that has been peer reviewed and clinically researched to save lives,” said Cameron Chell, CEO of Draganfly in the press release.
The idea is to keep first responders and officers safe by minimizing contact with the public.
“The Westport Police Department along with first responders around the world are looking for effective ways to ease the spread of COVID-19 and keep their communities safe,” said Westport Chief of Police, Foti Koskinas in the statement.
“This technology not only enhances the safety of our officers and the public, but the concept of using drones remains a go-to technology for reaching the most remote areas with little to no manpower needed,” Koskinas added.