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Apr 16, 2020 | Imaging, Public Safety

How drones can help during the COVID-19 pandemic

By now, everyone in the country has been ordered to stay at home unless it’s an absolute emergency. Non-essential businesses have closed and academic institutions are shuttered for what looks to be the remainder of the school year. As of this morning, 3.3 million people have filed for unemployment benefits due to the Coronavirus outbreak. If you’re running a drone services business, chances are you’ve had clients cancel projects and contracts put on indefinite hold.

The good news is drones are the perfect solution in this era of social distancing. Here are three ways their technology can be applied not only for business purposes but for the greater good of society.

Construction projects

There are tens of thousands of construction projects underway in the country. Proper execution at all phases involves many stakeholders. Deploying drones on-site has played a significant role, in recent years, for tracking progress, identifying any potential structural issues, and enhancing worker safety. They also provide real-time data sets so that progress can be efficiently tracked. Construction projects are typically over budget and take longer to complete than anticipated. Using drones as part of the workflow helps mitigate these common issues.

Right now, it doesn”T make sense for groups of project managers, engineers, and workers to meet on-site to monitor progress ? especially with tight restrictions on domestic travel. Hiring a single remote pilot to conduct a thorough site review makes a lot more sense. Drone operators typically don”T interact with anyone during this process so there aren”T going to be any changes in collecting 3D point cloud models, measuring stockpiles, and capturing any other relevant data.

Delivering COVID-19 test units

Helicopters are being used to deliver COVID-19 testing kits to cruise ships. The problem with this method is that it’s taking teams of 2?3 people to execute these missions, exposing them to a highly contagious disease. Hiring pilots and operating a chopper can cost upwards of $10,000 per hour. Drones can accomplish the same tasks, at a fraction of the price, without exposing anyone to unnecessary risks. Companies such as Zipline were built to deliver much-needed medicine and supplies to remote and difficult-to-access areas. These types of services are only going to become more vital in the coming months.

Public safety

Chula Vista’s police department is the first in the U.S. to use drones as a means of reminding people to stay home. Officers have recently started using drones equipped with loudspeakers to spread important safety messages. Bard’s Public Safety Drones, 3rd Edition report recently revealed there has been a steady uptick in public sector drone use overall. Almost 1,600 agencies have a fleet, including an estimated 70% of law enforcement agencies. This means less risk is involved for those tasked with serving to protect the general population.

While it is important for most people to stay indoors, many others still need to work. Drones are the ideal tool for ensuring that as many people stay safe, while efficiently performing their duties, as possible.