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Four students from Canada's Simon Fraser University (SFU) have created a small, Web-enabled drone that they believe could enhance a building's security system.

Named "Avian," the 3D-printed drone is controlled by a laptop and is designed to improve response time to emergencies, effectively reduce blind spots and create more robust security systems, according to the university.

“The big difference with our drone is that it is connected directly to the Internet via an existing WiFi infrastructure, so we are essentially turning a toy into a tool,” says Mark Anthony Wijaya, an undergraduate student focusing on international studies and entrepreneurship at SFU.

The drone is fully autonomous and capable of capturing high-quality images, and its parts can be upgraded using the team’s 3D-printed manufacturing process.

“We’ve created a complete cloud-connected surveillance system, and our auto-pilot drones fly autonomously via pre-programmed and randomized routes,” explains Wijaya. “Through testing and design improvements, we have invested many hours.”

Steve MacLean, SFU’s director of security, is an advisor for the group of students and is considering incorporating it into the school’s security system. “This is pretty cutting-edge technology for the security industry, and it’s an idea we’ve been contemplating for some time,” he says.

Wijaya, who is from Singapore, co-created the aircraft with students George Xu, who is originally from China; Shakir Ali, from India; and Akshay Budhiraja, who is from Qatar.

The students, who attend both Surrey and Burnaby campuses, will showcase Avian during the Surrey campus Global Community Open House on March 4.

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