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Northern Ireland Working on Border Drone Patrols With EU

The Police Service of Northern Ireland hopes to use the drones to identify and track illegal border activity.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is developing an artificial intelligence surveillance system of air, sea, and land drones as part of an experimental research project funded by the European Union.

The “Roborder” project started in 2017 and is slated for completion by August 2021. According to The Irish Times, 90 percent of its €8.9 million budget comes from the EU’s Horizon 2020 investment program, under the “Border Security: Autonomous Systems and Control Systems” funding stream.

“The main objective is to detect and recognize illegal border activities, assess conditions and properly indicate and inform the border authorities and operational personnel about the area status,” the project’s website explained. 

“Roborder will collect heterogeneous data from several different resources such as thermal and optical cameras, passive radars and RF sensors originated from multiple vehicles/robots.”

Roborder successfully detected an oil spill on its first field demonstration in Portugal. The drones will continue to be put through exercises in a variety of scenarios around Europe during the remainder of 2021.

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