Drones are regularly used in infrastructure inspections, agricultural monitoring, and safety and rescue operations. And not just in America; this is also the case in the Chinese city of Dongguan, revealingly known as the world’s factory for the amount of manufacturing that happens there. According to the Xinhua news agency, the amount of market entities (read: factories) registered in this city surpassed 900,000 earlier this year. Naturally, this makes it extremely difficult for environmental inspectors to observe all the factories in regards to safety standards and unlawful disposing of chemicals. So, the city began using unmanned aerial vehicles last year to combat this overwhelming issue.
On Tuesday, a local townsman reported a strange smell to environmental inspectors, who immediately deployed a drone fitted with high-end gas sensors to the area in question. According to Xinhua, the sensors in question can differentiate between eight pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide or volatile organic chemicals. The UAV hovered about 33 feet from the ground for around 30 minutes, garnering data and producing a useful map displaying the various VOC levels in that area. According to Xinhua, it was clear as soon as inspectors noticed three red dots on that map, which signal a dangerous level of gas in the area.