Police Scotland Commission Drones
Police Scotland to start using new aerial drone system in searching for missing and vulnerable people.
21:44 10 November 2019
Police Scotland will use remotely piloted aircraft system to help find missing and vulnerable people. The system is equipped with advanced cameras and uses neural computer networks and a compact recognition software.
Insp Nicholas Whyte, of Police Scotland’s air support unit, said: “The drone itself has very special sensors on it.”
“There’s a very highly-powered optical camera which can allow us to see things quite clearly from a good height. Also, there’s a thermal imaging sensor which detects heat.”
“We’re there to find people. People who need our help or people who are lost.”
The system was designed and created by the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), Police Scotland and technology multinational Thales.
Prof Carl Schaschke, dean of the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical sciences at UWS, explained how the drone could spot someone from up to 150 metres away. He said: “It does that by being shown images, multiple images, time and time again until it recognises what the objects are from pretty much any orientation.”
He added: “It doesn’t require sophisticated supercomputing.”
“It really is quite a low-cost approach to this – it simply uses a mobile phone.”