As I write this, it’s mid-April of 2020 and most of the civilized world is hunkered down in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a strange time, but out of crisis often comes great innovation. One excellent example just came to me in the form of correspondence with a commercial drone company named Draganfly. A long-time leader in commercial drone platforms and technology, Draganfly is now bringing another powerful tool to the hands of those charged with identifying, monitoring, and responding to pandemics and disease.
Let’s get right to the money shot, as we say in the business- take 90 seconds and digest this video: DF_VI_News_Release_2020_03_25_02_Final – BIG Admin
Draganfly has already gone down the paths of drone-based delivery and even drone-based disinfecting of spaces and surfaces, but their new “pandemic drone” technology adds from-a-distance detection of a range of symptoms:
- Elevated temperature
- High blood pressure
- Rabid heartbeat
With purpose-built sensors and AI-based deep learning, Draganfly is basically equipping drones to be force-multipliers for disease diagnosis. There’s a lot to contemplate here.
In talking with Draganfly, they estimate a fairly short learning curve to use the drone platform in this new role. The operator will have to find the best angle, height, and distance to get the most accurate readings for the specialized software in use, but Draganfly has a proven history of success with balancing highly accurate sensing with ease-of-use.
The goal is to not only identify infected individuals, but also patterns in larger populations in hotspot areas (think NYC, Boston, and Seattle for example) to proactively identify new health situations or new pockets of density for known issues like Covid-19.
Currently, there are a number of “pandemic drone” trials going on, with wider adoption expected fairly soon. Though exactly how it may be deployed still remains to be seen, but I can imagine a number of government and private agencies and organizations being extremely interested in Draganfly’s latest.
This is one to continue following, says I.
If you are interested in other Draganfly goings on, have a look here.
As a reminder, beyond being a WLAN and networking professional, I am also a drone enthusiast and FAA-licensed Part 107 drone pilot. Wirednot is a “mostly” wireless blog. Thanks as always for reading, and comments are always welcomed.