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Connecticut tests ‘pandemic drones’ to ensure people are social distancing properly

Enter the robots

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

A flock of "pandemic drones" are in flight across parts of Connecticut, according to a Wednesday CNET report — all with the goal to monitor social distancing efforts of the public.

What are the details?

The Westport, Connecticut, Police Department is working alongside drone manufacturer Draganfly to test the drones.

CNET reported that the drones have "specialized sensor and computer vision systems" that can display a person's temperature, respiratory, and heart rates. The drones are also able to detect people sneezing and coughing, and can detect symptoms and conditions from 190 feet away.

A release from the Westport Police Department, however, notes that the drones will not be used at private residences, and don't use facial recognition technology.

"The Westport Police Department along with first responders around the world are looking for effective ways to ease the spread of COVID-19 and keep their communities safe," Westport Chief of Police Foti Koskinas said. "This technology not only enhances the safety of our officers and the public, but the concept of using drones remains a go-to technology for reaching the most remote areas with little to no manpower needed. It also helps our officers acquire decision quality data they need to make the best choices in any given situation."

Koskinas added, "Westport and its first responder network is one of the most progressive public safety advocates in the nation. They are real pioneers when it comes to adopting and integrating new technology to protect its community. This pandemic has opened up a new frontier and urgent need for the use of drones."

According to the outlet, the Westport Police Department has had a drone program since 2016.

One last thing…
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