Are robots the key to fighting the coronavirus?

Not only has a robot helped to treat the first reported U.S. case of coronavirus in a Washington state hospital, but now a robot has been introduced to help airlines and federal agencies disinfect airplanes in order to stop the spread of the virus.

The GermFalcon robot by Dimer UVC Innovations was created to improve airplane hygiene using ultraviolet-C (UVC) light to kill viruses, bacteria and other bugs on surfaces and in the air. The robot was designed to navigate the cabin inside an airplane while it exposes surfaces to UVC light.

Dimer said that UVC light is commonly used to disinfect air, water and surfaces in healthcare facilities and can eliminate germs such as coronavirus, influenza and Ebola. The company said UVC kills germs up to 99.9% and works on plastic, metal, leather and fabric.

The coronavirus is known to survive on surfaces for up to 28 days, especially in low-humidity environments such as airplanes. As the outbreak began in China, U.S. airports have stepped up health screenings of passengers at ports of entry including at airports such as LAX, SFO and JFK.

“The threat of coronavirus infecting innocent passengers on an airplane is one we must work to eliminate immediately,” said Elliot Kreitenberg, CEO of Dimer UVC. “This is a dangerous virus that has already taken lives. GermFalcon is a fast and effective response to this threat, and we are pleased to offer it at no expense to contribute to emergency response efforts at LAX, SFO, and JFK airports during this crisis.”

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