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UAE introduces smart drone to monitor work sites

THE LEVANT – Labour Minister Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash recently launched a special, remote-controlled smart drone to support the inspection squad at the ministry during their field campaigns, especially for recording violations at construction sites during the midday break period.

Using the smart drone in inspection campaigns is part of the ministry’s adoption of best practices by using advanced technologies as under the strategic plans by the UAE Government, while meeting the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to establish the smart government initiative, Ghobash said.

He stressed that the drone enjoys innovative mechanisms that increase efficiency rates of the inspectors, as it’s considered an additional measure that serves in field operations to control and regulate the labour market, besides strengthening the reputation of the UAE in international forums based on major developments.

Ghobash praised the efforts made in processing the smart drone which confirms the national cadres’ creativity, innovation and excellence.

He was briefed, during the launching ceremony, about the mechanisms of the drone in the presence of Mubarak Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour; Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs; Maher Al Obed, Assistant Undersecretary for Inspectional Affairs; and Saif Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Institutional and Support Services; as well as a number of directors of various departments.

The idea was introduced by the Information Technology Department at the ministry and the drone was developed in partnership with specialised technical students from the Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai, where they worked closely to match all specifications and standards as required by the ministry.

The drone covers around two square kilometres over a 15- to 20-minute battery lifespan (rechargeable), reaching altitudes up to 1km. The machine is controlled wirelessly with the possibility of setting up coordinates of the preferred location through its built-in navigation system. The HD camera installed on the frame conveys a clear and accurate view of the targeted sites, which could be monitored on a live screen directly from the control room. “It is very accurate and definitely saves the inspectors’ time and efforts, as it allows the team to monitor every movement from the screen attached on the remote control, then note any violations by taking close-up pictures,” Ghobash said.

The drone has proven its excellent operational mechanisms during a demo during midday break period, which came to an end on September 15. The team documented irregularities by video recording that shows clear offences, and then electronically issued a fine against the establishment.

The inspection team at the ministry is seeking to further develop the project and use the drone to conduct an electronic link between the labour monitoring systems and the recorded videos to directly issue fines on the spot to save time and efforts.

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