Drones Could Be Used to Track Possible COVID-19 Cases Soon

Drones can be retrofitted with thermal imaging hardware to detect temperature changes in people from a distance.

Tech News
2 min read
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The world is calling in all of its reinforcements to battle COVID-19. Technologies from every sector are being experimented with to come up with solutions to help stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Just a few days ago, we talked about how drone operators in India are helping the authorities to keep a vigilant eye on the movement of people and also spray disinfectants in areas most affected.

We also learned that drones can be retrofitted with new technologies to help detect people that might be infected. Let’s take a look at how companies are getting this done.


The best thing about drones is that you are not bound by topographic limitations if you want to explore. In order to track the movement of people in environments that aren't easily accessible, a drone is an ideal option.

Draganfly, which is a commercial drone company based out of Canada, has been working on drones that can potentially help track the spread of COVID-19 by retrofitting them with thermal cameras to detect high temperatures in people from a distance.

According to the company, the drones are able to detect temperatures from as far as 100 metres and need 10-15 seconds to do so.

This video demonstrates how this technology works:

Also, the drone has onboard technology that is capable of monitoring heart and respiratory rates from a distance and can also detect people who are sneezing and coughing in crowds.

As of now, the Australian government is in talks with Draganfly to use the technology to remotely monitor and detect people with infectious and respiratory conditions.


DroneLab which is based out of Gujarat is working to develop this technology for India.

Nikhil Methiya the founder of the company told The Quint that a model is being prepared to monitor crowds by heat mapping to identify individuals who may be running a high temperature.

“The temperature of individuals can be mapped with an accuracy of +/- 1 degree and this information can be passed onto the health authorities so that they can run a check to confirm this,” said Methiya. “We are planning to roll this out soon and are currently in talks with the state government,” he added.

If this technology is deployed, it could help healthcare personnel detect cases in crowded environments without having to go there physically and it also acts as a better way to measure the body temperatures than conventional handheld infrared thermometers.

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