Technology Eye in the sky: COVID-19 combat plan takes flight

Eye in the sky: COVID-19 combat plan takes flight

A remote robocop’pandemic drone’ could soon patrol the skies to help keep us all safe to by detecting people­­ with infectious respiratory conditions.

In the bid to halt the spread of coronavirus, a University of South Australia team is developing a drone that could spot people coughing and sneezing from the air.

Initially developed as a tool for war zones and natural disasters, lead researcher Professor Javaan Chahl said the decision to take off in a new direction was simple.

“Now, shockingly, we see a need for its use immediately, to help save lives in the biggest health catastrophe the world has experienced in the past 100 years,” he said.

The ‘pandemic drone’ has been trained with image processing algorithms to monitor heart rate, temperature and more from several metres away.

With commercial, government and medical partners lining up, the technology could soon be deployed in workplaces, airports, cruise ships and anywhere large crowds are gathered.

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