In the wake of the recent COVID-19 outbreak which has affected almost every nation, government organizations and law-enforcement agencies are in search of an effective solution to fight this pandemic with minimal human interaction.
Drones seem to be an appropriate solution to tackle this menace. Apart from the transportation of emergency medical & pharmaceutical supplies, health-kits and blood samples, these unmanned aerial vehicles can effectively aid authorities in administering a state of lockdown.
A report in South China Morning Post says, the Chinese government “has adapted and co-opted industrial drones to help ensure that an estimated 50 million residents are kept at home and indoors across a dozen cities.” A fleet of drones is estimated to replace the surveillance capacity and enforcement duties of more than 100 policemen operating in dozens of patrol vehicles across a 10 square kilometer radius.
3 ways in which Drones can help manage lockdowns
While the need for social distancing and self-quarantining has already been enforced by most of the local and national government bodies in the form of curfews or lockdowns, there lies a constant necessity to monitor public spaces, in order to make sure that people are at all times following the state-mandated orders.
Equipped with thermal sensors, HD zoom lenses, loudspeakers, beacons, and disinfectant spray jets, drones are playing a crucial role in arresting the spread of the deadly virus.
1. Remote Aerial Patrolling
As a response to the current public health crisis, drones powered with FlytNow can send ultra-low latency (<1 second) live-video feed over 4G/5G/LTE network to a cloud-based remotely operated COVID-19 command control center. The captured video streams can be further shared with stakeholders and decision-makers located anywhere across the world, to help monitor the overall social situation and take measures to control the crowd and maintain public safety.
Police authorities can autonomously capture data for a predefined/geofenced area of interest, or send the drone to specific GPS coordinates – on-demand during emergency situations. They can also combine and manage a fleet of drones with a variety of payloads, battery endurance, and capabilities. To operate 24×7, thermal camera scans can be integrated for night-time surveillance to detect a breach of lockdown protocols.
Drones equipped with high-definition cameras for a wide field of view, can monitor a large area including narrow roads and by-lanes and take appropriate action to curb overcrowding at several locations.
Taking advantage of the FlytDock precision-landing module, with centimeter-level accuracy, drones can be safely landed on any designated spot or even a moving vehicle, significantly reducing the risk of emergency personnel being infected by the pathogen.
Why use FlytNow:
- Live HD video-feed at the remote station over 4G/LTE
- Cover large area or city with fleet of drones
- Remote gimbal control to pan/tilt drone camera to look around
- Sharing live video feed with across police stations
- Thermal camera integration for night surveillance
- Automated patrol on regular intervals
2. Remote Crowd Management
Public authorities using FlytNow can use drones to monitor a large area for unauthorized human gathering, since human contact is the primary way in which the coronavirus is spreading.
Built-in features like geofencing, autonomous flight, and automatic movement detection, can help authorities to catch offenders during a routine autonomous FlytNow patrol with minimum human involvement. This will allow for easy control and management of a large area with a small number of drone operators.
Fitted with loudspeakers, drones can be deployed to issue advisories, share key information, warn the public against breaching restrictions or broadcast lockdown rules and regulations, to effectively monitor and calm a panic-stricken crowd.
Drone can be the first responders in the event of an emergency like a riot, and can de-escalate the situation using onboard attachments like a siren or remotely controlled non-lethal weapon. Both the drone and its attachment can be controlled from the FlytNow dashboard. Since FlytNow supports most major drone hardware platforms, authorities can use different kinds of drones based on the situation; for example, a combination of both heavy and light drones can be used.
Why use FlytNow:
- Live video feed from drones at the operation center for remote monitoring.
- Automatic movement detection
- People and vehicle counting using AI.
- Integration with loudspeakers or sirens to monitor the crowd.
3. Remote Public Announcements
In a lockdown situation where the communication channels also have been shut down, drones can be used to make important announcements in an area.
Using FlytNow, authorities can dispatch a fleet of drones, which will follow a predefined path, carrying a public address system. With a message played on a loop, a fleet of drones can cover a large area compared to traditional vehicles.
Why use FlytNow:
- Broadcast audio message to a fleet of drones equipped with a loudspeaker
- Automated flights on a regular interval
- Remotely transmit a message to lockdown offenders
- Cover large area with a fleet of drones
Drones in Action Around the World for COVID-19
Drones are already in action and law enforcement officials, across the world, are already using it. In Bengaluru, India, police are using drones to catch offenders who are disobeying the lockdown.
France has also deployed drones to enforce their lockdown. Police are running aerial patrols in the streets of Nice and warning the residents not to venture out of their homes.
China has gone a step further; they have deployed heavy drones equipped with special attachments to disinfect large swathes of lands by spraying chemicals in the air.
Drones are already at the forefront of the worldwide battle against COVID-19. At FlytNow, we want to support public health and safety stakeholders in every corner of this world, which is why we are providing the FlytNow Pro solution free of cost to people during the coming weeks.
FlytNow Pro takes care of the complexities of managing a large number of drones, so that health workers, police, firefighters, and other public safety personnel can focus on getting the job done.
Get free access to the FlytNow Pro, sign up at https://app.flytnow.com