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COVID-19: Drone that disinfects hospital rooms using UV light revealed by Irish team

Among the latest innovations to help tackle the Coronavirus pandemic now and in the future has been revealed by a team from NUI Galway and the University of Limerick (UL), reports siliconrepublic.com. Researchers have developed a flying drone that sterilises a room using UV light.

The project has helped develop a novel method of providing sterilising ultraviolet (UV) light radiation suitable for a range of indoor environments with a flying drone.

It is led by NUI Galway’s Prof Derek O’Keeffe and Dr Ted Vaughan, as well as Dr Kevin Johnson from UL. As the world attempts to return to public spaces in a post-Covid-19 world, it’s envisioned that sterilising drones could be used in areas such as hospital wards, restaurants, trains, buses, aircraft, shopping centres, airport terminals and restrooms.

This new concept uses UVC light, which is high frequency, short wavelength radiation that can destroy the genetic material of micro-organisms. This will prevent the coronavirus or other harmful agents from reproducing and has been used for decades in water, air, laboratory and medical applications.

 However, as UVC is harmful to humans, the @UVCDrone concept will only operate when a public space is unoccupied. The drone is programmed to switch on at a pre-defined time, autonomously fly around the public space using a new AI algorithm and when finished cleaning, land again for recharging.

“We need innovative solutions to fight Covid-19 and our @UVCDrone solution allows the delivery of sterilising UV light to a wide variety of public space landscapes from staircases to shop floors,” O’Keefe said.

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