Police in Westport, Connecticut have been testing a new ‘pandemic drone’ by Canadian manufacturer Draganfly.
Connecticut’s Fairfield County was chosen because it is adjacent to New York City, the area of North America hit worst by the coronavirus outbreak with over 135,000 confirmed cases.
The drone is designed to both identify social distancing and detect symptoms in crowds.
It is equipped with a specialised sensor and computer vision systems that can display fever, heart and respiratory rates, as well as people sneezing and coughing.
The technology, which the company refers to as its ‘Flatten the Curve Pilot Program’, can reportedly detect infectious conditions from as far as 190 feet.
Draganfly confirmed that the drone does not use facial recognition technology, but is rather designed to understand data and patterns within a population.
“The Westport Police Department is one of the most progressive public safety agencies in the nation,” said Cameron Chell, CEO of Draganfly, “and a real pioneer when it comes to adopting and integrating new technology to enhance the safety of their citizens and first responders.
“This coronavirus pandemic has opened up a new frontier for advanced drones. In conjunction with our partners, including the town of Westport, together we are the first in the U.S. to implement this state-of-the-art technology to analyse data in a way that has been peer reviewed and clinically researched to save lives.”