The global pandemic COVID-19 or commonly known as coronavirus diseases is creating massive frictional ripples in almost every sector. From tourism, transportation, the supply chain of export and import, healthcare, IT industries, etc., are either reeling under pressure or in standstill phase across the borders. Therefore there is a constant strain of science and technology to come up with innovative solutions to mitigate the situation. And in the race of addressing the demands and the opportunities to outdo other competing firms, we end up with new emerging techs and trends. One such disruptive solution is the usage of drones.
As the COVID-19 changed and challenged how the society functions in time of an emergency, drones are keeping up with their promising usability in healthcare and surveillance. This demonstration can lead to a huge growth in how we see its future scope. Let us break down the vital use cases in these unprecedented times.
In Manhattan, USA, a drone was seen in East River Park, reprimanding people who were not maintaining the social distancing protocol. Named as ‘the Anti-COVID-19 Volunteer Drone Task Force’, it asked the gathered crowds to maintain a minimum of six feet distance among each other. Pedestrians could hear a continuous message of, “‘Please help stop the spread of this virus. Reduce the death toll and save lives.”
In Kazakhstan, KazUAV drones are helping the Nur-Sultan Police Department by patrolling the capital city. Equipped with the vision and infrared sensors on drone-mounted cameras, KazUAV is helping with ensuring people to follow lockdown measures. It has helped authorities identify multiple road bypass and irregular activity taking place in the target areas.
In India, IdeaForge, a leading manufacturer of UAVs has deployed drones to monitor, Sangli, Maharashtra and Guwahati, Assam to survey public places. While in Spain, France, and China drones are used to broadcast messages, requesting people to stay indoors, use masks before going out, etc. At Noida, New Delhi, GarudaUAV is helping local police force to manage vehicular traffic and public overcrowding.
Besides in some cities, thermal camera drones are employed to scan the body temperature of people over a large area. This helps to identify new likely cases without having to touch those who are already infected.
When it comes to deliveries, a Chinese drone delivery company, Antwork Robotics is ensuring safe transportation of medical and other supplies from Xinchang County’s disease control center to the Xinchang County People’s Hospital. This means less exposure to humans to infection. Further, it cuts down trips by 4 wheelers from 20 minutes to a mere 6 minutes.
Along with it, drones are also used to deliver groceries and other essential items.
At Zipline Center, Suhum, Ghana drones are used to deliver blood, vaccines and other medical supplies to remote areas that are not accessible by road at this time. This reduces patient travel and saves expenses to spend on-road transportation by a huge margin. In Virginia, USA, Google is using its Wing drone delivery system to deliver toilet paper and medicines.
To enable sterilization, DJI repurposed its agricultural drones to spray disinfectants at public places. Its’ Agras agriculture drone, which previously dispersed liquid pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides on-farm plants, is now used to spray chlorine alcohol-based disinfectant in affected areas. Soon after this XAG agricultural drones and the drones from Fly Dragon Drone Tech, joined hands to regulate the situation.
Digital Aerolus, an autonomous technology company has recently developed Aertos 120-UVC, the first indoor drone with C-band ultraviolet (UVC) lights. It shall be used to disinfect critical places like hospitals, market stores, airports and bus stops, etc. It is highly stable and does not rely on GPS or external sensors to fly indoors. This paves a path for futuristic age for unmanned disinfection tools.
While it is uncertain how coronavirus will change its route in the coming days, we can count on these flying objects that will be present to save the day.