Combating Covid-19: Robots, drones add strength to UAE's fight against coronavirus

 khaleejtimes.com  04/06/2020 16:00:00   Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
Combating, Covid-19, Robots, drones, UAE, fight, against, coronavirus

Unprecedented measures are taken by UAE authorities to curb the spread of Covid-19. A chopper flew over Abu Dhabi City on Monday, April 6, morning with the message of 'Stay Home' while robots and drones empower the National disinfection Programme across the country.

The Abu Dhabi Civil Defence has rolled out TAF35 firefighting robot - an asset added to the force this February- for the sterilisation drive. A video shared by the Abu Dhabi Police shows TAF35 in action outside Mushrif Mall in the city.

The robot - a turbine mounted on a caterpillar vehicle and operated by remote control - is usually used for firefighting but is very efficient in places where there are infecting particles. The nozzle ring blasted disinfectant to cover vast areas.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Municipality is deploying drones for the sterlisation project. Also, the Dubai Police are using drones during patrols to spread word of awareness among the public. 'Nawras' drone patrol project is held in cooperation with the Drone Centre of the Dubai Police. The drones are equipped with cameras to capture images and loudspeakers to broadcast police's messages and announcements for the public to stay home. The Sharjah Police use drone technology to convey messages in different languages: Arabic, English, Urdu and Tagalog.

Disinfection, detection and delivery

UAE-based Falcon Eye Drones Services (FEDS) said the drones can speed up fight against Covid-19 and strengthen enforcement of Stay Home campaign.

Rabih Bou Rashid, CEO of FEDS, noted: "The rapid spread of coronavirus has played a vital role in accelerating the adoption of drones in a growing list of unconventional tasks."

Rashid pointed out that usage of drones is better as there's no risk of infection.

"Now, more than ever, drones give us a fighting chance in our battle against the epidemic with the several solutions they offer for epidemic control."

He said drones can carry up to 16 litres of disinfectant and fumigate large areas. Drone sprays are estimated to be 50 times more efficient than hand sprays.

Rashid added that the technology can help detect new cases as drones are equipped with a dual visual and infrared image sensor, making it easy to measure body temperature from a safe distance. Drones can travel up to 1-km radius, do surveillance and keep check on people defying curfew norms.

Additionally, Rashid noted drones can deliver necessary goods such as medicines and groceries, especially to those who are quarantined at homes. Also, robots can be utilised for contactless deliveries, reducing cross-infection while making sure aid arrives for the needy.

"Today, we are at war with the disease and it is only right to treat advanced technologies like drones as our allies in combating this pandemic," he added.

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com


Ashwani Kumar

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