Ohio's Using a Drone to Spy on Prisoners (and Their Smuggling Friends)

By Adam Clark Estes on at

Ever heard of the Panopticon? It's a type of prison design that enables a single watchman to see everyone. Now, Ohio is experimenting with an interesting twist on that idea by putting the watchman in the sky with an infrared camera.

The state's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction plans to launch a type of drone into the air over the Lebanon and Warren Correctional Institutions. More specifically, they're going to send up a tethered blimp-like thing called an aerostat that's equipped with a high-definition camera and an infrared device. The idea is that the robo-guard will be able to monitor not only what's happening inside the prison yard but also what's happening outside the walls.

This is a good idea in an era when people are already using drones to smuggle contraband into prison. The experiment in southwest Ohio will tell officials whether or not the aerostat is an affordable and an effective option to help stop this from happening. And hey, fighting drones with drones makes good sense. [Cleveland.com]

Image via AP