Experts in different fields are all trying to help in whichever way they can to help stop the further spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and one of them created a new "pandemic drone" that could spot COVID-19 symptoms.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Drone
According to a report by the Daily Mail, the pandemic drone is created by a group led by the University of South Australia (UniSA) Professor Javaan Chahl, who also works for the Department of Defence, in cooperation with drone maker, Draganfly.
Based on the report, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) includes a computer vision technology and sensors that could spot any cough and sneeze within 16 to 32 feet from the people.
Additionally, the drone should be able to monitor heart rates, temperature, and respiratory rates of people in a crowd--plus it could spot whether someone is following the strict social and physical distancing or not.
Professor Chahl believes that the drone could be a great screening tool for COVID-19, with its high accuracy.
"It might not detect all cases, but it could be a reliable tool to detect the presence of the disease in a place or in a group of people," the professor said.
The drone was initially being developed for war zones, natural disasters, as well as for monitoring premature babies and their heart rates while they are in incubators, but it seems like the world needed its immediate help for "the biggest health catastrophe" that the world has experienced for the past 100 years.
The professor and his team hope to deploy the coronavirus pandemic drone within six months in areas that require it the most.
A Warning by the Creator
Nevertheless, the creator behind this COVID-19 pandemic drone also has a warning: the technology could be used even after the pandemic is over to monitor the public.
There are already tons of people who aren't comfortable using Australia's COVIDsafe app, which tells the user whether they have been in contact or was close to someone who was tested positive for coronavirus.
According to The Guardian, the app should be safe to use as it's hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has the highest data security certification in Sydney.
Now, the pandemic drone by UniSA might be used for tracking certain individuals even after the coronavirus pandemic is over, something that Professor Chahl himself has acknowledged and even issued a warning.
He said that every technology has a risk and that it might already be a bad idea to use drones to chase sick people.
"But perhaps others might have different ideas," he told ABC's 7.30. "And it's very hard to restrain them from using it like that once the genie is out of the bottle.
Discussions are Going on
The professor also disclosed that discussions are going on about the security and privacy issues that may come with using the COVID-19 drone, especially as they don't want to take away people's freedom.
However, it is currently needed in the presence of coronavirus, which is a highly infectious disease.
Nevertheless, the drone might be rolled out sooner to help fight the spread of the virus even further as it continues to put people's health and lives at risk.
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