CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY)- A lot of advancements have been made during the pandemic, but now we have “pandemic drones” used to detect symptoms of COVID-19 from up to 400 feet away.
Draganfly is the oldest commercial drone manufacturers in North America, and now the masterminds behind this brand new drone technology.
The idea sprouted at the beginning of the pandemic when the company wanted to create something that could potentially help flatten the curve that the virus has been constantly making.
Pandemic drones are used to detect overall average body temperatures and vital sign measurements of largely populated areas from a distance, but it can also stay on top of how well people are following regulations.
“The technology can also measure social distancing, and it can also measure mask wearing,” said CEO of Draganfly Cameron Chell. “So, from a public policy standpoint, you can say, ‘hey how effective is our communication in terms of wearing masks, and are we practicing social distancing.”
This new technology in pandemic drones is also used in the animal kingdom to help collect data on endangered species, drought, and other natural detections. Therefore, there is no facial recognition.
Along with helping nature, the technology is also used to help premature babies monitor health, and heart rate because experts said their skin is too sensitive for the stickers on the other machines, and can rip off easily.
Chell said the data collected is strictly used to gather demographic information on how risky an area is of contracting COVID-19. This way we can take a step closer to stopping the spread of the virus, while also avoiding a complete country shut down again.
“We have wild swings in decisions right now, because frankly, we don’t have data to support anything else other than making these kind of big blank decisions. The cost of shut down is really quite minor when you think of the cost of what this equipment would be,” Chell said. “We really just see this as a part of the new norm, in terms of health protection, and measurement for the employee improved workplace, and also students at a universities.”
The pandemic drones are being piloted right now, in larger cities across the United State, and also internationally. The hope is that they can take another step closer to better management of the virus, and ending transmission entirely.
“This is a technology that really does bring a huge benefit and real time data. We will be able to detect what is dangerous everyday, all the time, so we can stay on top of the virus even more than before.” said Chell. “What I envision us seeing in the future is you’ll see health reports, just like you see weather reports. You’ll be able to get a clear indication, ‘hey should we be taking the family to Disneyland this weekend.’ And at the end of the day, that will help the health of the world dramatically.”
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )