A Connecticut town is testing a drone that can measure social distancing and detect COVID19 symptoms from the air.
The Westport Police Department recently partnered with Canadian drone company Draganfly to deploy unmanned aircraft equipped with a sensor package that can display body temperature, heart and respiratory rates, as well as detect people sneezing and coughing in crowds.
A Draganfly press releases states the equipped drone can “accurately detect infectious conditions from a distance of 190 feet, as well as measure social distancing for proactive public-safety practices.” Westport has reported some of the highest infection rates in the Connecticut and officials consider Fairfield County the epicenter of COVID19 spread within the state.
“The Westport Police Department is one of the most progressive public safety agencies in the nation and real pioneers when it comes to adopting and integrating new technology to enhance the safety of their citizens and first responders,” Draganfly CEO Cameron Chell said.
“This coronavirus pandemic has opened up a new frontier for advanced drones. In conjunction with our partners, including the town of Westport, 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.”
The department has been an early adopter of drone tech, launching a UAS program in 2016. The program began to support dive-team operations in locating submerged objects or people.
“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,” Westport Chief of Police, Foti Koskinas said. “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. It also helps our officers acquire decision quality data they need to make the best choices in any given situation.”
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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