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  • Charles Wimbley

Four Ways Drones Will Help Humankind Fight Covid-19

Updated: Jan 18

In popular culture, drones have a distorted image of being efficient war machines - or naughty spy cams. Well, drones are so much more than their misunderstood reputation. Did you know that there are over 320+ ways that drones are used to improve our society? How can that be? Well, the answer is simple: drones infuse all of today's latest technology that ultimately makes it a formidable flying platform for good. With the fusion of computer chips, software, hardware, barometers, GPS, gimbals, sensors, cameras, lasers, and artificial intelligence - drones have the unique ability to operate in 3D space and provide new levels of data and customer insights in real-time. Ultimately, capturing a lot of useful data with efficiency has even saved lives. So with their relatively small footprint and powerful sensors, drones have become a flying albatross of tech that can be applied to many industrial applications and provide real value to society. Industries such as movies, journalism, real estate, agriculture, construction, search and rescue, and security see the benefits of this new technology. Even in the era of Covid-19, drones are making a difference and are currently working with humankind to fight the pandemic head-on. Here are four ways drones are already making a difference in the Covid-19 era.


Detection: Temperature Check



Would you believe that China uses drones to limit the deadly spread of Covid-19? They do! Why were drones implemented? Before drones, especially in densely populated China regions, a thermal temperature check was conducted before admitting dwellers into apartment buildings. This approach is a simple yet effective screener for potentially detecting infected people - because one of the key symptoms of the virus is high fever. However, there is one big problem: the personnel conducting these infrared thermometer checks are close to each person, thereby increasing the chances of getting the infection and becoming spreaders. To reduce this risk point, drones with infrared cameras were implemented to measure body temperature. As a result, safe temperature inspections can be conducted from a distance, in the air, with surprising accuracy.


Distribution


The spread of the Covid-19 virus has created a global pandemic of scale not seen in almost a century. In the US, there have been over 15,000,000 cases of infection and almost 300,000 deaths. As a result, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that people socially distance themselves, limit exposure, and stay home to mitigate the spread and infection.


The dramatic increase of the Covid-19 infection has dramatically affected the economy and has created an enormous strain on package and food delivery systems. To make matters worse, food delivery systems are strong candidates for deadly contamination. So, how can drones help in this situation? Well, drones have proven to be a remarkably efficient and contactless method of handing off critical food and medical supplies. Furthermore, a large number of drones can be easily modified to handle a small payload - complete with a unique drop mechanism that can effectively deliver small packages up to 6 kgs without risk to any recipients. This benefit of contactless delivery is critical in areas where the virus's presence is confirmed, such as hospitals.



Distancing


In the era of Covid-19, social distancing in public spaces is critical to reducing infection spread. Unfortunately, not everyone obeys the rules. What better way to promote social distancing rules than through the use of drones. Why drones? Because at high altitudes, drones are far more efficient at scanning dense, urban landscape. With a loudspeaker attached to a drone, local police authorities can effectively communicate with the public and enforce desired behavior by broadcasting key messages that will keep everyone safe! For example, a drone can easily spot a crowd of people who are not socially distancing themselves, fly down to that location and ask them to either disperse or put on their face mask. Furthermore, the authorities can keep people safe by warning them where infected areas are - and redirect traffic accordingly.



Disinfecting


The commercial use of industrial drones in numerous applications makes them a powerful new platform for good. Another powerful use case scenario for drones - in the era of Covid-19 - is in its ability to disinfect a large swathe of land. In a serious effort to disinfect public spaces in major metropolitan cities - and prevent further spread of Coronavirus, local health authorities are using specialized agricultural spraying drones to disinfect large areas quickly - and more efficiently.


Why use drones in disinfecting large public spaces? Because the speed, efficiency, and coverage of disinfectant drones have no rival. Drones' coverage efficiency is unparallel to anything else being used to date. According to the World Economic Forum, drones' spray distribution is more than 50x more efficient than manual spraying. Drone giant DJI noted that spraying agricultural drones can cover 100,000 m2 in an hour with a spraying tank of 16L.


In summary, drones are proving themselves as a surprisingly useful tool in fighting the Covid-19 virus worldwide. This is just the beginning of a new, flying platform that will continue to find new ways to serve mankind for the good!