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Hackernoon logoDrone Combats COVID-19 with UV-C to Achieve 99% Disinfection Rate Indoors by@sarahevans

Drone Combats COVID-19 with UV-C to Achieve 99% Disinfection Rate Indoors

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@sarahevanssarahevans

Digital correspondent and consultant

We are entering a time of intense innovation and will likely see a lot of it in the months ahead. It should come as no surprise that we will see tech developments, especially in healthcare from all parts of the world. Just yesterday, a young boy created 3D printed "ear guards" to alleviate ear pain experienced by healthcare workers who must wear masks for long hours. The thinkers, the doers and the helpers will expedite advancements and guide us through this time.

Innovation and inventions will happen at levels, including an announcement today from Digital Aerolus an autonomous tech company out of Lenexa, Kansas. They developed a first-of-its-kind UVC light disinfection technology using their specific style of indoor drones.

They aren't coming out of left field with this concept, UVC light sanitation technology is currently used in healthcare but many of the UVC lights are very large, cost-prohibitive or impractical to deploy for many organizations. The concept-brought-to-life of combining their industrial drones with small but powerful UVC lights allows more organizations to access and use UVC disinfecting tactics quickly.

Aertos 120 UVC has already demonstrated a 99% disinfection rate in tests, which is good news. By combining AI and deep-space navigation,  the Aertos 120 UVC can fly stably inside buildings contaminated by the COVID-19 virus, allowing humans to stay safely away from infected areas.  

Unlike their competitors, which include big names, like DJI, their drones don't rely on GPS or external sensors to fly, but rather Artificial Intelligence with math used in deep space navigation. This allows their drones to operate in places other drones cannot go, including small and confined spaces.

While it has a relatively short fly time of 12 to 15 minutes, it's equipped with replaceable batteries and is meant to disinfect smaller, frequently used surfaces and areas where the virus and bacteria live, like: counters, restrooms, checkout areas, patient rooms, waiting areas, etc...

In the days since COVID-19 was confirmed as a pandemic, the team ideated on ways to use their drone technology to help stop the spread.

They have now developed the first indoor drone with C-band ultraviolet (UVC) lights, created specifically to combat the spread of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) with a 99% disinfection rate. The Aertos 120-UVC will be available in volume in May.

“As this global crisis has unfolded, we’ve been committed to developing an innovative and accessible solution to wage a war against COVID-19 and mitigate the risk of humans worldwide,” said Alholm. “So many companies are innovating right now to combat this horrible virus, and we’ve been focused on what we can deliver using our technology.

While UV-C light disinfecting isn’t new, this delivery method is - and the method itself is what matters because it helps to keep humans safe in the midst of a pandemic.” 

While UVC and other forms of ultraviolet light have been demonstrated to destroy a variety of bacteria and microorganisms in lab tests, it has not been evaluated or tested by the FDA, WHO or any other body or laboratory.

The WHO has concluded in the past that ultraviolet light can cause severe skin irritation, which is why this drone delivery ensures humans can operate it from a safe distance.

(Disclaimer: I have worked with Digital Aerolus in the past and am a champion of tech innovation that will help us during this time.)

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