Singapore police is testing new drones that can be operated without an on-site operator and fly beyond the operator's sight. These drones can be useful in ground operations during the COVID-19 outbreak. They are exploring data system reliability and mission effectiveness during the trial which started in late April.
Currently, trials are being conducted in western Singapore with each trial lasting about half an hour. Drones are being tested above 250 feet sea level which is capable of crossing more than 100 meters. DSP Elvis Chong informed industrial areas can get rather deserted during the circuit breaker period. The presence of police is necessary in case of any illegal or unusual activities happening. "The deployment of drones complement our police officers in keeping the industrial estates crime-free," he added.
Chong oversees the area where drones are deployed and he is the commanding officer at Clementi Neighborhood Police Centre. Criminals can have the opportunity to trespass the empty warehouses and office areas especially during the time of the pandemic, he said.
Police will be operating autonomous drones for the first time
Senior engineer at Robotics, Automation & Unmanned Systems Centre, Low Hsien Meng said, robotics and automation system is found inside the drone box. "Mundane preparatory tasks like battery insertion, battery preparation, picking and swapping of the payload that's required for that specific mission has been automated away by the drone box system," he added.
Few clicks of buttons would be required to start the flight and the operator is expected minimal training to operate the drone. In order to transmit the data from drone to command and control center a separate wireless network will be required, CNA reported.
Police have deployed drones previously in their earlier operation. However, this is the first time they will be operating autonomous drones. Aerial surveillance of industrial areas will be achieved using them. Police is looking to extend its use for public safety, search and rescue operation, and delivery of supplies.
Singapore police in a media release said autonomous drones will assist them to view difficult-to-access areas. In order to gain great insights into critical operations, it is safer and one of the most cost-efficient ways, they added.