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Monday, January 24, 2022

Mérida employs an eye in the sky

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Itzimná from above. Source: Dronestagr.am
Itzimná from above. Source: Dronestagr.am

Mérida, Yucatán — When a street light is out, the city knows when a citizen calls it in or posts it on social media. But the city has a new tool to hunt down blackouts: A small, remote-controlled “drone.”

The equipment, a small motor with a video camera in steel casing, could also be used to monitor protests and marches, as it’s used in other municipalities, but city official vow that it won’t be used to spy. When and how often the drone will patrol the skies wasn’t revealed.

drone in merida
A drone flies over Mérida in a demonstration video taken near Star Médica hospital.

The “AirCam AP”  is seen in a promotional video hovering, apparently unnoticed at night, near an illuminated basketball court and the Star Médica hospital across the street.

In the past, officials have hired an eye in the sky to photograph cultural activities such as Noche Blanca, the Maratón de Mérida, and Carnaval. The company contracted to capture those events from above also works with private clients to tape family gatherings such as weddings and quinceañeras.

Sources: Press release; background: Diario de Yucatán

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