Jim Satney April 13, 2020
A drone developer claims to be working on new technology that uses sensors to monitor people’s heart rates and temperatures. Such technology has privacy advocates feeling rather unsettled.
Canadian drone company Draganfly says it’s working with the Australian Department of Defense and the University of South Australia to develop pandemic drones.
The drones leverage a computer vision system that is able to detect respiratory rates of people below its flight path. If these pandemic drones work as advertised, they’ll capture human sneezes and coughs.
Business Insider obtained demonstration images that show how these pandemic drones could monitor large events or nursing homes. Here’s a working example of how the pandemic drone functions. You’ll see in the demonstration below, as a man coughs, the drone is able to display it.
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A human operates the drone as it soars above people. The information is cast back to the control device whereas the coughing or ill human’s location is quickly detected. The group claims to have a $1.5 million budget.
“We had imagined the technology being used in a future relief expedition to some far-away place. Now, shockingly, we see a need for its use in our everyday lives immediately” Dr. Javaan Chahl, defense science and technology chair at the University of South Australia said.
The company is working hard to secure a supply chain and begin distributing pandemic drones worldwide.
Of course, it is difficult to ignore the repercussions on privacy that such technology might have. A world whereas drones monitor our daily movements from above is as unsettling as it gets.
Author: Jim Satney
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