As the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow, the number of drone companies seeking to capitalize on the coronavirus news is growing too.
A few weeks back, Antwork Robotics said it was using drones to deliver medical samples and supplies to Xinchang County People’s Hospital, which is located in one of China’s most severely hit provinces.
Major agricultural company XAG, as well as popular drone maker DJI, both announced they would employ drones designed for agricultural spraying (usually pesticides and herbicides) to spray disinfectant in potentially affected areas. DJI is using the Agras MG-1S, which is generally considered one of the best agricultural drones out there for spraying., in the containment efforts.
And now, Draganfly, is announcing that it’s in ongoing discussions to design and supply unmanned flying drones equipped with a combination of specialized sensors and technology to monitor the presence of symptoms related to coronavirus.
Draganfly, which has been building drones since 2003 primarily for public safety, agriculture, industrial inspections and mapping and surveying markets, said that drones equipped with special sensors could be used to monitor crowds for signs of fever and other flu symptoms.
“Airborne infrared sensors can be used to read a person’s facial temperature at 100 yards or even further,” according to a statement from Draganfly.
Currently, some airports and other entry points are using handheld sensors to detect a person’s temperature and other virus recognition features, but using a drone could reduce the amount of person-to-person contact, suggesting that it could prevent the virus from being transmitted and infecting people doing the detecting.
While Draganfly did not elaborate on when such a solution would be actually deployed, investors already seem to like the news. The company’s stock is one of the few positive movers in the market today.
That comes as the Dow dropped nearly 950 points on Tuesday in light of the Federal Reserve’s decision to cut interest rates by half a percentage point in an effort to cushion the economy from disruptions due to the coronavirus news. At least seven people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus, and more than 3,000 deaths worldwide have been linked to the virus. There are nearly 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide.
Outside of the coronavirus news, Draganfly has been making waves this week. The company today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Julie Myers Wood, who was appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for ICE, as an advisory member to its Board. And last month, the company opened a new U.S. office on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus, putting it in close proximity to one of the FAA approved test sites.
Find out more about how drone companies are getting involved in battling the coronavirus outbreak here.