In a small town of Westport, a drone is scanning for Covid-19 symptoms, and the reaction of the public and experts about it is mixed. Police have been flying drones here since 2016, for everything from traffic management to search and rescue. They can use them to spot and warn people who are gathered too close.
But now, Draganfly, the company that makes the drone claims that they can also detect whether you’re running a fever, sneezing, or coughing heavily, all through a single camera flying 40 meter overhead. The police chief says this partnership could help the town reopen, and they need every tool possible.
This is the first time Americans have been scanned for symptoms in this way, and there are skeptics. But are inclined to doubt whether this technology could distinguish between somebody with Covid-19 and somebody with influenza.
Not to mention that many infected people never exhibit obvious symptoms. Even if it does work, are we ready to be scanned from the air? The ACLU of Connecticut responded this past week that any new surveillance measures that aren’t being advocated for the public health professionals, and restricted solely for public health use, should be promptly rejected. This seems like fiction, but it’s real.
The machine will be equipped with sensors and cameras which will be capable of health monitoring. The drone can narrow in on to detect temperature, heart rate, and respiratory condition.
The drone can also detect and note if someone is coughing, or exhibiting any symptom of Covid-19. This drone can also be used for surveillance around the border, and for critical infrastructure. It will be controlled by remote, by an operator. The project is initially funded by $1.5 million.