University of Alabama in Huntsville Will Use Drones For Security
Last week, the University of Alabama in Huntsville announced campus police would be working with engineering students to design unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology that will be used for surveillance around campus.
"The UAH Police Department is pleased to be associated with the Systems Management and Production Center in a partnership that is exploring realistic and effective uses for small UAVs in day to day law enforcement and security operations on the campus," said Chief Michael Snellgrove said at the press conference. "We believe the technology may be incredibly useful and offers us a wide range of possible applications. We intend to review these applications and look for every possible way to take advantage of the available technology. Ultimately our objective is to enhance our ability to make UAH an even more secure place to study, live, work and visit."
The versions that have been created so far included attachments for a small camera, an LED flashlight/spotlight, or an infrared camera to detect heat. Students are creating campus maps so that the buildings can be recognized easier from the air.
Officials have stated that recent shooting tragedies around the country have led to the decision to utilize this drone technology. Director Dr. Gary Maddux of Systems Management and Production Center (SMAP), which is working in conjunction with UAH to create these UAVs, cited those events as a reason for the added security measures.
"There have been far too many shootings - Columbine, Virginia Tech and Newtown - and our work is an attempt to apply sensor, modeling and UAV technologies to law enforcement to improve response time," Dr. Maddux said. "Our goal is not only to provide a safer campus at UAH, but to enhance the state of a technology that can be affordably applied to other schools and localities."
Surprisingly, there hasn't been much talk on social media outlets about the decision, even though it seems to intrude on students' privacy. This decision introduces it into the University of Alabama school system so who's to say it doesn't get adopted by another campus if it's successful.
Would you accept the decision to bring the technology to Tuscaloosa if it got to that point? Let us know below.