How drones have been adapted to the self distancing world
While there are many changes currently going on in the people world, there have also been many adaptations in the world of drones.
1. Aerial Law Enforcement - Because countries and states have implemented stay-at-home orders, several police departments in major cities have begun employing drones in a crowd control capacity.
Using drones, officers can fly over public areas such as parks and beaches and check that any groups of people are below certain numbers, and following social distancing guidelines.
In the event that they find people who are not, the drones are equipped with speakers, so that the operator can advise people to disperse or move further apart.
If they do not, cars can be dispatched to that location.
2. Aerial sanitization - One innovative way to use drones has been adopted by a few countries; they have begun using what were previously agricultural sprayer drones to spread disinfectant over large areas.
These drones have large capacity canisters which can be filled with disinfectant; this is remotely released as the drone flies down a street, spraying the surfaces below.
Such systems could also be used in other public places, such as to disinfect sports arenas before and after games, inside warehouses, and even flying over parking lots outside stores at regular intervals.
3. Aerial deliveries - If a location or people cannot be reached safely by ground, drones can also be used to deliver critically needed medical supplies and resources to infected locations.
Although they cannot carry large, heavy payloads, drones can be much more useful than helicopters in this case purely because they can hover lower.
They can drop supplies to the ground without being touched, and fly back and land in a place where they can be sanitized if necessary.
4. Fever spotting - In Italy, in an attempt to help curb the spread of COVID-19, an initial lockdown procedure was to arm police officers with handheld thermometers.
This puts the officers at risk, as they have to be in close proximity to a potentially infected person.
To limit this hazard, they started using drones equipped with infrared cameras, to take temperatures from a safe distance and across wider groups of people.
This process has since been adopted across several other countries.
Terry Young is an FAA licensed drone pilot and professional photographer and videographer. His 30 plus years of experience in pre- and post-production of both still photography and video, coupled with the latest equipment, enable him to capture amazing, high quality images.