Public safety and health workers, the brave soldiers working on the frontline of this coronavirus outbreak deserve to be armed with every weapon available to us. It has become apparent that social distancing and isolation are only a start to technology-led solutions will, in fact, become central to the testing and treatment of this highly infectious disease.
It turns out that drones, especially fully autonomous ones, could be an ideal tool in this arsenal. Whether for aerial monitoring, or emergency response, or even delivery of medicines, unmanned aerial vehicles can be deployed to help those in need, without putting human helpers at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Such capabilities are available via FlytNow, ranging from drone live streaming over 4G/LTE/5G networks to remote control of the drone and camera gimbal from far away. To do our part, FlytBase, Inc. has decided to make FlytNow Pro available, at no cost till at least May 2020, to users worldwide to help them protect our society from the COVID-19 scourge.
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As national and local governments are rapidly closing public spaces, there remains a need to monitor and enforce such shutdowns, since not all members of the public are diligently adhering to social distancing and self-quarantines. Drones, equipped with payloads such as beacons, loudspeakers and sirens, can serve as a public safety aid – sending live video feeds to COVID-19 control centres, warning people of the need to stay indoors, and perhaps even spraying disinfectants!
Drone deliveries – whether of food, medicines or emergency aids – can be planned, executed and monitored remotely by drone operators, thus ensuring timely assistance to the elderly, rural and remote populations. Since FlytNow supports most major drone hardware platforms (e.g. DJI, Ardupilot, Pixhawk) – drone service providers can quickly adapt it to manage remote drone operations over 4G/LTE/5G networks – whether for surveillance or for emergency response.
Nitin Gupta, FlytBase CEO, added, “FlytBase, Inc. is keen, able and willing to support drone operators and service providers as they work alongside public safety and health workers. Whether it’s helping the police manage lockdowns, providing situational awareness to first responders or supplying medicines to last-mile clinics, drones are likely to play an important role in helping mitigate COVID-19. We are eager to fulfil our social responsibility – not only via the entire company working from home under self-quarantine but also by providing complimentary access to FlytNow Pro for those on the bleeding edge of this once-in-a-century pandemic. Our focus is on automation and autonomy, i.e. removing humans from the risk equation by using software to manage drone operations in the public health context remotely.”