Galway scientists develop new drone to fight COVID-19

galway daily news uvc drone covid-19
A new drone has been developed by scientists at NUIG which can sanitise surfaces in public places to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.

The new drone uses UV light to sterilise surfaces and can be used in a many different public spaces.

It can be programmed to switch on at a specific time, fly around a public space and, when finished cleaning, land again for recharging.

The new method of sterilisation was developed by a research team led by NUI Galway’s Professor Derek O’Keeffe and Dr Ted Vaughan, and Dr Kevin Johnson from UL.

UV light is not visible to the human eye and is divided into three bands UVA, UVB and UVC, with the new @UVCDrone using high frequency UVC radiation that can destroy microorganisms.

Professor of Medical Device Technology at NUI Galway Derek O’Keeffe said: “We need innovative solutions to fight COVID-19 and our @UVCDrone solution allows the delivery of sterilising ultraviolet light to a wide variety of public space landscapes from staircases to shop floors.”

UVC light is harmful to humans, so the @UVCDrone delivers the UVC light when the public space is unoccupied, such as at night time.

Dr Kevin Johnson, University of Limerick added: “COVID-19 is a public health emergency and @UVCDrone is another important tool to help us defeat it.”