With the spread of COVID-19, the need to limit direct human contact has become more vital than ever.
Based in Kansas, USA, Digital Aerolus has developed a drone designed to keep workers safe while preventing the spread of the virus. As an autonomous technology startup that creates software and hardware for industrial drones, the company has developed the world’s first indoor disinfection drone.
“The Digital Aerolus team developed the Aertos 120-UVC drone as a tool to help essential businesses needing immediate and practical access to UVC disinfection technology during the pandemic,” the company explained. “However, we believe that our world after the pandemic will be changed, and there will be a greater need for disinfection tools.”
The Aertos 120-UVC uses germicidal C-band ultraviolet (UVC) light at 265 nm (nanometres)—developed specifically to combat the spread of the COVID-19 with a 99 percent disinfection rate. 265 nm is generally considered the gold standard for effective UVC disinfection.
This is the first remote and mobile disinfection method for essential businesses, allowing companies to deploy disinfection tactics without putting their employees at risk.
According to the company, UVC disinfection has been used for decades to keep pathogens out of drinking water and off surfaces. It works by disrupting the pathogens’ DNA and destroying their ability to spread and reproduce.
However, UVC disinfection sources are typically too large, expensive or impractical to use on a smaller scale. The Aertos 120-UVC allows businesses and organisations to use this technology in an effective, accessible way.
Digital Aerolus’ drones do not need GPS or external sensors to fly indoors, meaning that they can work defectively in small and confined spaces. The device can be used in a variety of businesses and workplace areas, including healthcare facilities, grocery stores, public transit, warehouses and common areas such as restrooms.
“As this global crisis has unfolded, we’ve been committed to developing an innovative and accessible solution to wage war against COVID-19 and mitigate the risk to humans worldwide,” co-founder Jeff Alholm said in a statement.
“Like many others, we are innovating to combat this horrible virus, and we’re focused on how we can use our unique technology to deliver pathogen-killing energy in challenging environments. Using UVC energy to disinfect isn’t new, but our delivery method is. The method matters, because it helps to keep people safe amid a pandemic.”