Security vulnerabilities should be a top priority to constantly monitor at large facilities. It’s easy to overlook blind spots that can be compromised by troublemakers at sites that cover a large area. Even the slightest indicators of intrusion require immediate attention. An emerging method to monitor such facilities involves drone surveillance, drone security and drone programming.
How Drone Security Works
Drones are small planes that fly around and are programmed to take pictures and perform other security functions. While the technology isn’t new, it’s a relatively new concept to use drones to perform security duties. Drones can come in fleets, which makes them even more powerful. These mobile spies can be programmed to fly day or night in any kind of weather on specific routes.
Industrial sites are leading the way with drone security, as these wireless cameras protect private property. Part of the appeal of this modern system is that drones are easy to integrate with other existing surveillance systems. More advanced drones can detect suspicious activity that triggers alarms and alerts guards to take intervention action. Drones are programmed to travel to where the intruder is and take pictures. The video captured by this technology is sent to a security guard to monitor for suspicious activity.
One of the main advantages to a drone system is that drones can arrive at the scene of a crime quicker than local authorities. Using remote tools, human security guards do not need to be physically present at the intrusion site to notify authorities once they are alerted by an alarm. The drone pinpoints the source of what triggered the alarm to help law enforcement, along with providing photos of the intruder from multiple angles.
The aerial patrol strategy provides more visual information about a person, animal or object that triggers a security alarm than what’s possible with ground patrol strategies. Advanced drones don’t require any supervision and work as reliable automation tools with these features:
- linked with motion detectors
- automatic speakers
- automatic strobe light
- easy-to-use dashboard for customizing configurations
- drone communication capabilities
Artificial Intelligence Features
The drones used for security and surveillance purposes can easily be categorized as artificial intelligence devices. Aptonomy released a drone type known as a camera-carrying octocopter called the DJI S-1000+ in 2016. It can be used to monitor a location from thousands of miles away with confidence that the robot’s perception allows it to protect itself and the safety of innocent observers.
This flying security guard concept utilizes a pair of computers that drive day-and-night vision cameras. The technology’s artificial intelligence is capable of shifting drone speeds, altitude and route automatically, based on the environmental elements it encounters. It’s able to adjust its position automatically to avoid colliding with other objects. In other words, it knows how to avoid cell towers and nuclear power plants.
Another innovative feature of the octocopter is that it knows when the battery is running low, so it then heads toward a charging station. It’s unlike previous drones that were mainly used for thermal or topographic mapping. This drone goes a step further by identifying intruders, shining a light on them and communicating directly with them through loud speakers as an intimidation strategy.
Aptonomy co-founder Mihail Pivtoraiko previously worked for NASA and for tech and defense companies. The other co-founder Siddharth Sanan has expertise in human-robot safety and helped inspire a robot in the Disney film Big Hero 6.
While humans sleep, drones continue to work around the clock at protecting property. Humans can check their property at anytime through their computer by clipping a map location, which will then show images from a drone at that location. Less advanced drones require more manual supervision, such as when a drone starts to behave oddly, it must be told to return home.
Industrial operations can save money on security by using drones instead of humans. While companies may still want on-site security guards, drones can reduce the number of people needed to patrol a site. Drones are very helpful at providing authorities with photographic evidence when a trespasser is detected. The combination of drone and alarm systems has proven to be affective in reducing crime.