Indoor Drones for Public Safety—3 Real Use Cases from the Madrid Police, Marseille Firefighters, and Rotterdam Fire Brigade

Wondering how indoor drones are being used in public safety? Here are three use cases from police officers and firefighters working in the field.

As drone adoption continues to grow, public safety has been one of the areas where new applications and use cases seem to be cropping up all the time.

Public safety personnel have found a variety of ways to use both indoor and outdoor drones in their work. 

Police in Chula Vista, California have cretate a “Drone as First Responder” program that immediately deploys a drone to the site of any 911 call to provide a live visual feed of the scene before officers arrive. 

Police have also started using drones for car crash investigations, collecting aerial data and turning it into detailed 3D models of the crash that investigators can use to recreate the accident.

Firefighters have been using both indoor and outdoor drones to map ongoing fires and to do investigations after fires take place, in order to determine their cause.

Drones are also helping paramedics and EMTs by enabling quick deliveries of medical supplies. 

During the pandemic these medical drone deliveries have also included COVID-19 tests, as well as the delivery of medical supplies to support social distancing. Recently, drones have even started delivering COVID-19 vaccines, which has been made possible despite the challenges presented by the need to keep them cold while in transit.

[What does “public safety” mean? The term public safety encompasses any work done to keep people safe, including that done by firefighters, police officers, and paramedics.]

Most of the use cases highlighted above are ways that outdoor drones are supporting public safety work. But public safety personnel have also been using indoor drones in their work, and adoption has been steadily growing for these indoor applications.

Here are three stories highlighting the ways that indoor drones like Flyability’s Elios 2 are supporting work in public safety.

1. Madrid Police Use Indoor Drone to Investigate Site of Deadly Explosion

In January of this year, the Madrid Police used Flyability’s Elios 2 to investigate a nearly-collapsed building after a huge explosion took place there.

The explosion ripped apart the apartment building in downtown Madrid, destroying four of its floors. Investigators later determined that the explosion was caused by a gas leak.

 

Because the explosion had just taken place, the area was too volatile to risk entering in person. A caged drone like the Elios 2 was the perfect tool for inspecting the inside of the building and the surrounding area, since it would be protected from potential collisions inside the chaotic blast zone.

Using the drone’s live video feed, police were able to quickly see what things looked like inside the explosion site, and also look for survivors who were in urgent need of medical attention.

Read more about the explosion and its aftermath.

2. Marine Firefighters of Marseille Use Indoor Drone to Assess Risk During Ship Fires

At the start of this year, the Marine Firefighters of Marseille tested the use of the Elios 2 for entering a ship on fire in order to look for those in need of help and to determine the extent of the fire.

 

When a ship is on fire, firefighters must physically board it in order to try and put out the fire, rescue the ship, and save the people on board.

But entering a burning vessel can be very dangerous, and it is hard for firefighters to know exactly what kind of situation they are walking into before boarding.

The Marine Firefighters of Marseille used the Elios 2 to fly through the upper deck of the ship while remaining safely on an adjacent vessel. The drone allowed them to quickly collect visual data about:

  • Where the fire originated 
  • Where people were located that might be in need of help
  • What the actual conditions were on the ship
  • Whether it was possible to save the ship itself

marseilles-indoor-drone-boat-inspection

All of this information could be used by the firefighters to determine whether the ship could be saved, and whether they needed to board it at all. 

The ability to make these determinations using data collected remotely with an indoor drone could be crucial for saving those trapped in a fire, and it can also help dramatically improve safety for firefighters by reducing their exposure to dangerous situations. 

3. Rotterdam-Rijnmond Fire Brigade Uses Indoor Drone to Inspect a Burned-Out Building

In March of last year, the Rotterdam Fire Brigade used the Elios 2 to inspect the damage done to a building following a huge fire.

The goals of the inspection were to:

  • See if the fire was completely out
  • Assess the extent of the damage caused by the fire
  • Determine whether it was safe to enter the building

During the inspection flight fire brigade personnel were able to see that the fire was still burning. This information was crucial for helping them determine their next steps for securing the area.

 

This was the first time the Elios 2 had ever been used by the Rotterdam Fire Brigade, but it certainly won’t be the last. 

According to Robbert Heinecke, who works for the brigade, just having the ability to gather visual data inside the damaged structure proved the value of the Elios 2.

“We now keep this drone in the service car so that it can be deployed quickly. I expect that the Elios 2 will also be used for other situations. Think of the hold of a ship, the contents of a warehouse, in pipes and tunnels—actually, all the places that you normally cannot get a picture of during or just after a fire.”

- Robbert Heinecke, Rotterdam-Rijnmond Fire Brigade 

Learn about all the ways that indoor drones support public safety operations.

SEE ALSO

Articles

Wondering how Inspector 3.0 differs from other 3D modeling software? Read this article to find out.

Articles

Drones present several benefits as a tool for remote visual data collection in mining operations—here is our list of the top 6.

Articles

Drones present several benefits as a tool for remote visual data collection in sewer inspection scenarios—here is our list of the top 8.

Articles

Although 2020 was a difficult year—as it was for everyone—we managed to stay quite busy here at Flyability. Here is our list of highlights from the year.

Articles

Drones present several benefits as a tool for remote visual data collection in NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) indoor inspection scenarios—here is our list […]

Articles Operational Procedures

For indoor inspections, drones can help eliminate hazards completely by replacing the need for an inspector to enter them. This places drones in the top […]

Articles

During these times of COVID-19, boilers are crucial for the continued operation of a variety of businesses.

Articles

2019 was a tipping point for the use of robotics in inspections, especially for indoor applications. Learn more about the progress made in indoor drone […]

FAQs Articles

The short answer to this question is about 10 minutes. But, there is a lot more to say about flight time. Find out more in this article.

Articles

During an API 510 inspection, a certified inspector from formal inspection body Bureau Veritas allowed the Elios 2 drone to be used as a formal inspection […]

FAQs Articles

What is the price of the Flyabilty Elios 2? Here is a short article about pricing to make sure you get all the data you need during your decision process.

Articles

Image resolution can have several meanings. It is a central question for many tasks that require a high data quality. But what is a good resolution? How […]

Articles Photogrammetry

Learn how to build your first photogrammetric 3D model using a dataset captured indoor with Elios 2.

Articles

The level of data security built into our products is important to some users and we understand that transparency is key. Here is an overview of all the […]

Articles

Learn how you can perform safer confined spaces inspections using drones. Discover applications in various industries and get a glimpse of our […]

Articles Photogrammetry

Learn how to capture proper dataset to create photogrammetric 3D models with Elios 2. This blog post will guide you through the key points to be […]

Articles Photogrammetry

Discover the different scenarios where drone users envision using indoor photogrammetry to improve their business efficiency.

Articles

Nuclear power plants can be hazardous places to work. There are often situations where workers are called to enter high-dose areas to ensure the safety of […]

Articles

The question of whether drones are intrinsically safe is one of the first that comes to the mind of Oil & Gas and Chemical professionals. So far the […]

Articles

When asset owners try to figure out how to proceed with the integration of drones in their processes and workflows, a critical question comes in; should […]