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“LightStrike” Robots Vaporize Coronavirus

Credit: Xenex

Let the sun shine in (and cook those germs).

A couple of years ago, Texas-based Xenex Disinfection Services began running live-fire tests of their newest secret weapon, the LightStrike. Designed for use in hospital rooms, the LightStrike is sort of like a little robotic lighthouse that, when activated, bombards the surrounding area with high-intensity UV light that fries germs and sterilizes the area. After some more recent tests, however, it was discovered that the LightStrike may be even more helpful in current circumstances.

According to Xenex, recent tests have shown that the LightStrike is 99.99% effective in removing the coronavirus from surfaces. Floors, walls, doorknobs, and even face masks were all rendered completely sterile when given 2-3 pulses of UV light from the LightStrike. Any coronavirus pathogens lurking around were rendered completely inert by the machine’s 200-315 nanometer wavelengths of light.

Credit: Business Wire

Japanese medical equipment manufacturer Terumo obtained exclusive distribution rights to the device back in 2017, and since then, have introduced them to around 500 medical institutions around the world, though only a handful kept theirs on board after a trial period. Since Xenex’s results were released, though, interest has risen exponentially.

“Between March and April, we had inquiries from more than 100 medical institutions,” a Terumo representative said.

One LightStrike unit costs $125,000. According to Xenex, if you put that cost in the context of room sterilization in a hospital, that’s around $2 to $8 per room. Orders are increasing, and the company is optimistic, though by their own admission, the circumstances of the interest have soured what would otherwise be a celebratory mood.

“At any other time, we celebrate these wins,” VP of sales Irene Hahn said in an employee memo. “However, in light of what is happening, this one is different … we are absolutely humbled.”