Police in Singapore have taken an extraordinary step to ensure people are following social distancing rules.
In a 3 1/2-month trial, police have used 22-pound pilotless drones, developed by Israel’s Airobotics, as a way to enforce social distancing and contain the spread of COVID-19, according to Reuters.
Especially in areas not visible to police on foot or in vehicles, the drones are helping to pinpoint locations and zoom in to get a better look at what’s happening down below, said Low Hsien Meng, senior engineer from HTX’s Robotics, Automation and Unmanned Systems Centre.
Airobotics CEO Ran Krauss told Reuters the company is simply helping police maintain normal operations, specifically related to COVID-19.
“The pandemic created a situation where it might be difficult for police to maintain,” Krauss said.
According to Airobiotics, the trial is the first time automated commercial drones have gotten approval for flying over a major metropolis area.
Airobotics has invested about $100 million in developing the drones, and it is now in a year-long stage of the drone project with HTX, which is leasing the drones for business and industrial use in Israel and the United States.
The companies are also exploring even further capabilities of drones, including delivering defibrillators, Reuters reported.
The trial continues on in the social distancing aspect, according to Airobotics, and Krauss said the company is in talks with other cities to deploy drones.