Chinese government uses high-tech drones to catch cheating students


Chinese authorities have developed an innovative solution by using drones to counter students who were cheating during tough university entrance exams.

After discovering that students were using wireless communication to cheat during the tests, officials deployed high-tech silent drones over testing centres in Luoyang in central China to detect any communication signals.

Equipped with six propellers, the drones can hover over an area for up to 30-minutes and use 360-degree rotations to scan examination rooms and highlight any suspicious radio signals. Flying at heights of up to 1,640 feet, the devices can zoom in on radio signals emanating from hidden phones and earpieces used by students to get answers to the questions presented in the exam. It then sends data to investigators via a tablet device.

The exams, known as gaokao and taken by more than nine million teenagers every year, last two days and are known to be excruciatingly difficult, with many hinging their future careers on the results.

Chinese authorities last year released photos of various secret agent-style technologies used by students to facilitate cheating. Among them were high-tech vests that link up to a button-hole camera hidden in a pen or watch, used to send images of the examination paper to an outside party with a receiver, who then supplies answers via voice message to a hidden mobile phone.

The drones deployment is part of a wider crackdown by the Chinese government, but illustrates the many uses the drone sector can offer.