Police surveillance drones promise to boost efficiency

Updated: 2016-02-11 14:56

By Zhou Mo(China Daily)

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Shenzhen Art-Tech R/C Hobby Co Ltd, for years the leading maker of toy-like but functional aircraft models, is gradually gaining traction in the unmanned aerial vehicles or UAV market.

Its drones, products of years of research and development, are finding application in police and security operations.

The company is confident the emerging sector would bring it a new life.

In 2014, the company's anti-terrorism drone, the UAV AT-100 model, was inducted into the operations of the special police unit in Kashgar, western Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The UAV AT-100 is a hybrid drone powered by petrol and battery. It is capable of taking off and landing at a height of 3,000 meters above sea level. It can fly for as long as 90 minutes with a 10-kilogram payload.

The law enforcement unit of Songgang area in Shenzhen's Bao'an district has also introduced the drones in its daily operations.

"Police UAVs play an irreplaceable role in emergencies and daily security affairs," said Lin Weidong, president of Art-Tech R/C Hobby.

"Drones can greatly improve the speed of police response to situations and enhance their work efficiency. This means, there will be a huge market potential in the sector."

In November 2015, Xinhua news agency reported Liu Daolin, deputy director of the Police Aviation Administration Office at the Ministry of Public Security, as saying that police UAVs are a new type of equipment that is finding wider application in the public security sector.

More than 300 police drones had been deployed in over 150 departments in 25 provinces so far, Liu was quoted as saying.

For long, China has been faced with the problem of shortage of police forces. For instance, Beijing was said to have only 24 police personnel for every 10,000 people in 2013. The percentage, though higher than that of many other Chinese cities, was still low compared with leading cities in other countries, which typically score 40.

Increasing penetration of police UAVs is set to ease the problem. Lin admitted technological breakthroughs have to be made before the device could be applied in dangerous and complicated situations.

"At the moment, police UAVs can be used only for surveillance and detection. In criminal cases which require police UAVs to work in small spaces with strong signal interference, the device is incapable of working effectively with its current technology," he said.

Lin believes police drone makers should strive to make the device more intelligent, so it could carry out more functions like human characteristics identification, video information search, so forth.

Magic of the unmanned aerial vehicles

AT-100 is an anti-terrorism UAV by Shenzhen Art-Tech R/C Hobby Co Ltd, capable of taking off and landing at a height of 3,000 meters.

XEagle, a product of Shenzhen-based FLYPRO Aerospace Tech Co Ltd, is a drone specially designed for sports enthusiasts. It can be controlled by voice and linked to a smartwatch. It avoids obstacles with high precision.

Eagle 787, made by Shenzhen Eagle Brother UAV Technology Co Ltd, can carry 17 kg of pesticide, be air-borne for 35 minutes, and spray over 60 acres of land per hour.

 (China Daily USA 02/11/2016 page16)