Kerala

Drones don yet another role during pandemic

Drones were used extensively by the Kerala police to keep a tab on lockdown violators in the State in recent months. The Excise Department used it to check illicit brewing of liquor too.

Now, a 29-year-old youth from Vadakumkara in the Chennam Pallippuram grama panchayat in Alappuzha is winning hearts for using his drone for a different purpose. A photographer by profession, Binu P. usually deployed drones to do stunning wedding photography. But, ever since 14 families went into quarantine in ward 10 in Chennam Pallippuram, after a nurse from there working at a hospital in Cherthala tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 more than a week ago, Mr. Binu is using the drone to deliver essentials to some of them.

He says that using drones to deliver items to people in quarantine involves less risk and is relatively safe. “Reaching some of the houses is difficult. The declaration of Cherthala taluk as a containment zone and imposition of lockdown have made it a more arduous task. I made slight modifications on the drone for hassle-free delivery of items,” Binu says.

Free delivery

Medicines, food items, and other essentials bought from shops based on orders are delivered to these families using the drone. While the delivery is free of cost, families transfer the price of goods to him through online transaction. According to him, the drone can fly 0.5 km and deliver goods weighing around 1.5 kg at a time. “Mostly medicines, bakery and children’s commodities are delivered using the drone. Multiple items that weigh above the capacity are delivered by conducting multiple delivery sorties. After each delivery, the drone is sanitised,” he says.

Robins, one of the beneficiaries, says that it has been very helpful during the quarantine period. “My entire family is in quarantine and we cannot venture out. Essentials, including medicines, are delivered through the drone,” he says.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 2:19:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/drones-don-yet-another-role-during-pandemic/article32152910.ece

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