Sports competitions are back. And although there is still no public in the stadiums – nor will there be for several months – the sports facilities of the teams need to be completely and regularly disinfected. This means an army of human operators and machinery to carry out these tasks, but what if flying and robotic devices could carry them out?
Drones and ultraviolet robots to clean stadiums
In NFL USA Football, various teams have used the latest technology to address the issue of disinfection and remain efficient – in fact, more efficient.
The Carolina Panthers LightStrike
Let’s meet the LightStrike Germ-Zapping, a germ-killing robot created by the cleaning services company Xenex and that the Carolina Panthers team is using to try to keep their facilities free of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID -19. LightStrikes are used in hospital rooms to prevent hospital acquired infections such as staph or MRSA. According to Xenex, the robot emits bursts of intense broad-spectrum UV light that damage the virus’s DNA in four ways and render it useless.
The team is also using two LightStrike disinfection units, mobile containment units that allow the power of the LightStrike’s intense germicidal light to be used anywhere in a facility. Pods are currently used to disinfect players’ pads, cleats, and helmets after each practice.
“We started using the robots to disinfect the locker rooms, the weight room, the rehab areas and the offices during the camp, and we have expanded their use throughout the building and throughout the stadium,” as reported from the Panthers.
Atlanta Falcons drones
The Atlanta Falcons have opted instead for drones to disinfect their Mercedes-Benz Stadium from the air. MBS has partnered with Lucid Drone Technologies, which offers D1 disinfectant drones to sanitize key areas in a more efficient and effective way. This technology has been tested as part of the disinfection process and will be implemented when the stadium team welcomes fans for the Falcons’ home game against the Carolina Panthers on October 11.
The drones use electrostatic spray nozzles for even distribution of medical grade sanitizing chemicals, including an inhibitor that prevents harmful bacteria and viruses from sticking to surfaces without leaving residue. In addition, its enveloping effect helps to distribute the disinfectant in areas that are difficult to access. The non-toxic hypochlorous acid solution used meets Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for maximum effectiveness without being harmful.