Police in the Connecticut city of Westport are testing a “pandemic drone” that will be able to tell if someone coughs, sneezes, or has a fever from 200 feet away.
The city’s “pandemic drone” can deliver audio messages from officers who are watching remotely.
The drone, made by drone manufacturer Draganfly, can even monitor a person’s heart and respiratory rates.
“One of the major problems for cities and towns like Westport in managing and responding to a pandemic like the COVID-19 virus, is finding out who could be infected and how widespread the disease has spread,” Westport First Selectman, Jim Marpe said in a statement. “One way to do this is to look for underlying symptoms. By teaming up with Draganfly and the UniSA team led by Defence Chair of Sensor Systems Professor Javaan Chahl, we are able to remotely look at valuable lifesaving data and better manage current and future health emergencies.”
The department claims that the technology will not be used on privately owned land and is not equipped with facial recognition technology.
“Using drones remains a go-to technology for reaching remote areas with little to no manpower required. Because of this technology, our officers will have the information and quality data they need to make the best decision in any given situation,” Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas said in a news release.
The program is called the “Flatten the Curve Pilot Program,” NBC Connecticut reports.