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Autonomous drones may be guarding you soon

FYI, this story is more than a year old

Kiwi-owned and operated VigilAir has launched its semi-autonomous aerial surveillance drone technology onto the global market, a product that has the potential to change the face of security worldwide.

Mike Marr, VigilAir director says, “The VigilAir software product is one of the first of its kind and will undoubtedly disrupt the security industry. 

“Simply put, our software will enable drones to be the first-response security guards of the future.”

Marr’s company has spent some years pioneering the use of drones with new technology for security purposes, including self-funding their own research and development, and it’s all run out of their Auckland premises.

New Zealand has been at the forefront of drone/UAV regulation. 

VigilAir continues to work closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to develop the equipment, systems, and processes to provide a safe and effective service.

The VigilAir solution will be provided as a full-service solution, with drone enclosure, installation and full ongoing support provided.

The product and service operate under a current Civil Aviation Authority certification, with work underway to rapidly expand the operating parameters.

International patents are also well underway for the software that can dispatch camera-equipped drones to investigate any external security event.

VigilAir is a SaaS product that integrates drones into existing electronic security systems. 

It’s suited to large outdoor sites such as retail and industrial parks, hospitals, university campuses, schools, ports, prisons, and town centres that are at risk of burglary, vandalism or security breaches. 

A security drone will also be an effective deterrent.

When not flying, the drone sits in an enclosure, dubbed a nest, located on a business site.  

When alerted by an alarm sensor trigger, it will be dispatched to fly over the site to investigate, recording and live-streaming high definition video footage to whoever’s monitoring the action. The drone may include a thermal or infra-red camera, and bright LED floodlights to illuminate any intruder and record the scene. 

The hovering drone may sound a siren or even talk to the intruder using a two-way communications system.

Before leaving the nest, the VigilAir SaaS system checks the weather data, then the drone flies a pre-determined flight route that’s geo-fenced to preserve neighbours’ privacy and comply with flight regulations.

A future release will allow the drone to be further manoeuvred to follow any fleeing suspects, capturing images of them and their vehicle license plate number as they evade. 

The drone then returns to its nest to recharge.

Marr concludes, “As you can imagine this is all a lot safer than dispatching a guard on foot to check out a security problem. 

“Drones will help catch perpetrators as everything’s recorded which is gold for any eventual prosecutions and importantly, the ongoing cost will be lighter on operational budgets."

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