FEU Tech students design AI powered thermal scanning drones to help combat COVID-19

March 31, 2020
Published: 7:07 pm March 31, 2020 | Updated: 7:07 pm March 31, 2020

FEU Tech DWARM Technologies has spearheaded an initiative that uses artificial intelligence-enabled drones to perform thermal scanning in checkpoints of some of the country’s major expressways.


Far Eastern University (FEU) announces the roll out Project DWARM, an artificial intelligence that uses thermal scanning and drones to detect possible Coronavirus carriers.

Made possible through a partnership with the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and UPSCALE Innovation Hub, a group of FEU Tech students will produce 6 drone units carrying an AI powered thermal scanning system.

DWARM Technologies, a start-up company composed of FEU Tech alumni Samantha Monique Bautista and Angelito Espiritu, Jr., together with FEU Tech students Kent Laurence Rivera, Khay Esguerra and Ma. Regiena Alejo, have recalibrated their drone system to meet the requirements to help battle this fast-growing virus.

“Our technology before was primarily used for detecting possible survivors in an aftermath of a calamity by using only a thermal camera for the AI programming. As a solution for COVID-19, we combined two AI detections – a video camera for the detection of a person and a thermal camera for the recognition of heat signatures. With the new AI, the thermal cameras can now identify a person and measure his temperature,” explains Bautista, Lead Engineer of DWARM Technologies team, now working on the 6 units under home quarantine.

DOST-PCIEERD plans to deploy the units of DWARM along the checkpoints in both the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). This will help drastically reduce queue times as the drones will be able to scan up to 10 persons at a time, immediately flagging anybody with a temperature of 37.5°C to the monitoring staff.

“With the use of DWARM, we aim to help fight COVID-19 by speeding up and improving the precision of thermal scanning at checkpoints and protect our uniformed and medical frontliners by minimizing direct contact to possible carriers,” adds Bautista.

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