Drones have risen to the COVID-19 challenge as social distancing disrupted the delivery of supplies. During the coronavirus pandemic, unmanned aircraft have been used with varying degrees of success to disperse crowds, communicate social distancing messages, monitor people’s temperatures, spray public spaces with disinfectants and to deliver medical supplies. #dronesforgood
By now, many people will have seen drone videos or photos of the mass burials of unclaimed COVID-19 victims at Hart Island in New York. We reported on that about a week ago, but so did many other news outlets. Today we learn on Instagram that George Steinmetz’s DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone has been confiscated by the New York Police Department (NYPD) after the famous aerial photographer tried to capture some photos of the burial scene on the island.
Article updated on April 17th, 2020 with a comment that Steinmetz provided to DPReview.
The Honolulu Fire Department uses drones to enforce stay-at-home and work-at-home order from Mayor Kirk Caldwell at local beaches around Oahu, city officials said on Friday.
Find out from DJI’s public safety experts, Romeo Durscher, DJI’s Senior Director of Public Safety Integration, and Wayne Baker, DJI’s Director of Public Safety Integration, on how drones are currently being utilized throughout the US, and what this could mean for efforts in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. Register for DJI’s webinar that is taking place on Wednesday, April 15th at 11 a.m. PDT here. #DronesForGood
Within 24 hours after the surveillance drones were put into service in Jalandhar, India, 20 people had been arrested for violating curfew norms that were implemented to stop the Coronavirus from spreading. The unmanned aircraft have been used to enhance surveillance in the areas under the jurisdiction of the Jalandhar Commissionerate Police.
Here’s a great example of how sometimes a crisis can speed up the application of new technology. In this case, the Coronavirus outbreak forced Swoop Aero employees to move back from various African countries to their home base in Australia. With their technology, however, they have been able to operate their entire fleet of autonomous drones in Malawi remotely from their Melbourne office.
Two days ago, I came across this article in The Guardian about billionaires, such as David Geffen, who escape the Coronavirus by boarding their yachts and heading off to some tropical destination. Sigh… Wouldn’t that be nice, I thought, to sail away from all the trouble and commotion. Of course, for mere mortals, this is not readily achievable. And it seems that even John Mayer shared that feeling as he quickly put the ‘Drone Shot of My Yacht’ song out on Instagram, mocking David Geffen and his yacht, Rising Sun. Brilliant!
These drone videos show almost completely deserted streets in major cities around the world. The empty streets are the result of measures to slow down the rapidly spreading Coronavirus and to ‘flatten the curve‘. The aerial footage is shared on social media, YouTube and published by newspapers around the country and in the rest of the world.
Police around the world have started to use drones to warn the general public of the highly contagious Coronavirus. We have seen examples already in China, France, Spain, the U.S. and now also in Western Australia. The drones are mostly used to enforce social distancing and to warn people to stay inside.