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Swiss Robots Use UV Light To Zap Viruses Aboard Passenger Planes

Published by Slashdot on Fri, 02 Apr 2021


A robot armed with virus-killing ultraviolet light is being tested on Swiss airplanes, yet another idea aiming to restore passenger confidence and spare the travel industry more pandemic pain. Reuters reports: UVeya, a Swiss start-up, is conducting the trials of the robots with Dubai-based airport services company Dnata inside Embraer jets from Helvetic Airways, a charter airline owned by Swiss billionaire Martin Ebner. Aircraft makers still must certify the devices and are studying the impact their UV light may have on interior upholstery, which could fade after many disinfections, UVeya co-founder Jodoc Elmiger said. Still, he's hopeful robot cleaners could reduce people's fear of flying, even as COVID-19 circulates. Elmiger's team has built three prototypes so far, one of which he demonstrated inside a Helvetic jet at the Zurich Airport, where traffic plunged 75% last year. The robot's lights, mounted on a crucifix-shaped frame, cast everything in a soft-blue glow as it slowly moved up the Embraer's aisle. One robot can disinfect a single-aisled plane in 13 minutes, start to finish, though larger planes take longer. Dnata executives hope airplane makers will sign off on the robots -- Elmiger estimates they'll sell for $15,930 or so -- as governments require new measures to ensure air travelers don't get sick.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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