During the recent pandemic of COVID-19, health care workers spend a lot of time close with the patient doing high-risk activities like delivering food to the infected patients and sanitization of the quarantine area. The nature of their job puts them at an increased risk of catching any communicable disease. If they start to get sick in high numbers during a disease outbreak, it amplifies the already high levels of strain on the healthcare system. It is also anxiety-provoking for health care workers to have to care for their colleagues and to see them become patients. Also, people visit grocery shops in groups for buying groceries which can increase the spread of the virus. If the grocery delivery can be done using drones, it can reduce the chances of virus spread.

What it does

Drones have been a key tool in responding to COVID-19 and in the longer term, they can provide lessons for how public and private health systems can incorporate drone technology into their planning to mitigate future pandemics. Here are some of the ways Toodles can be used to fight COVID-19. 1. Contactless delivery - Due to the contagiousness of COVID-19, it’s safer if human-to-human contact is minimized. For this, we have interacted with many local grocery vendors and medical shops to ramp up their “contactless delivery” option our autonomous vehicle. We aim to reduce cross-infection by implementing home delivery of drugs and meals via Toodles. Toodles can be used to deliver meals to quarantined individuals held in a hotel/hospital who were suspected of having the virus. According to reporting by GPS World, using drones speeds up transport by 50% compared to road transportation. In addition to speed, it doesn’t expose human delivery drivers to any risks. Delivering medical samples by the drone can significantly reduce unnecessary human contact throughout the transport cycle. It can also speed feedback for critical tests needed by patients and medical workers. 2. Spray Disinfecting chemicals - Another way drones will be used to fight coronavirus is to spray disinfectant in public spaces travelling between impacted areas. (Coronavirus is mainly transmitted via respiratory droplets and can also spread by touching contaminated surfaces. The disinfectant spray helps reduce these transmission mechanisms.) Depending on the application, drone spray can be fifty times more efficient than people spraying. 3. Grocery Supply- Toodles can be used for the delivery of daily groceries to needy people. People visit grocery shops in groups for buying groceries which can increase the spread of the virus. Toodles can be used with QR codes such that person can wait outside the store, scan the QR code, complete the payment and Drone will deliver groceries to him without him getting out of his car. 4. Public announcements- This effort required close coordination with a variety of groups and agencies, including the Municipal Government, its health department (and subset healthcare facilities) and the Civil Aviation Authority (Aviation Administration of India) to approve routes and ensure proper safety measures were taken. At the peak of the operation, it can run 20 more flights every day. At the moment of life and death, the air transport network can significantly confine the flow of people, avoid unnecessary physical contact and prevent secondary transmission. 5. Surveillance – Toodles can be sent to the quarantine people’s home for a surprise check. Based on face detection algorithm and camera sensors armed to the drone, it will detect if quarantine person is at the desired location or not. In case of his/her absence, it can send alert to the respective authority.

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