Stanford, IIT alumni develop ‘intelligent robot’ for chemical-free disinfection of public places


New Delhi: An ‘intelligent robot’ machine that can travel to hospitals, bus stops, railway stations, shopping malls and other crowded public places and sterilise surfaces with a cost-effective and safe water-based technology is the latest innovation churned out by researchers in their fight against the spread of the deadly COVID-19.

In their attempt to solve the problem of disinfecting larger places, a team of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Stanford alumni have developed an innovative technology “Airlens Minus Corona”.

The technology for the device works on the basis of electrification of particles.

“Charged or ionised water droplets will kill the virus by killing its proteins and hence making it inefficient,” Stanford alumnus Shashi Ranjan, co-founder and founder of Delhi-based company PerSapiens Innovations, told ANI.

“Such ionised water droplets can help in the oxidation of viral proteins into non-harmful molecules. Oxidation is one of the most potent antimicrobial tools,” he said.

There may be various ways by which viruses can be inactivated – alcohol (such as ethanol or IPA) is one of them and alcohol-based hand sanitisers are useful for individuals or for sanitising surfaces on a smaller scale but water is the safest option as it does not harm the human skin, unlike other alternatives.

“Airlens Minus Corona”, works on the ‘Water Electro Activation’ technique, which unlike other techniques like employing Ultra Violet rays or using chemicals to defuse the virus, is not hazardous to humans.

It is devised in the form of a “Robo-Sapien” (an intelligent robot) that operates on water being superbly charged with the help of high electric power. This activated water when sprayed oxidizes the viral protein, reducing it to a non-harmful molecule.

Airlens Minus Corona has received certification from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).

The NABL has sanctioned the device as non-toxic and safe for humans for sanitization purposes (unlike the chemical disinfectants like Sodium Hypochlorite/Bleaching powder) to inactivate or kill the germs and pathogens.

“The certification comes as a relief at the time of crisis when people involved in the medical fraternity are sceptical of their well-being.

Considering that the COVID-19 warriors are highly vulnerable to contracting the disease from patients, their condition is even more threatening against the shortage of medical kits that assures their protection. Incidentally, the news listing the harmful effects of PPE kits leading to various skin problems has also been surfacing,” a statement from Ranjan-led company read.

Besides, Shashi Ranjan, Debayan Saha from IIT Kharagpur and Yogesh Agarwal from IIT Ropar are part of the team behind this innovation. (ANI)