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This Robot Could Be the Latest Weapon in the War on Cabin Germs

The GermFalcon deploys UVC technology to kill a whole host of germs, viruses and bacteria in the cabin.

For germophobes and those with delicate constitutions, planes are little more than flying petri dishes. It’s no secret that this closed, crowded environment isn’t exactly sterile, but one startup company has come up with an invention that it believes could be used to combat the germs, viruses and bacteria commonly found throughout the cabin.

The GermFalcon is a compact robot featuring winged arms mounted with ultraviolet-C (UVC) lights. Rays within this part of the spectrum are commonly used to disinfect hospitals and medical facilities and the device itself can be easily wheeled through the aisles of plane with arms extended to kill germs on seats and tray tables. It can also be used to deep-clean lavatory and galley areas.

The idea, according the company’s website, is that “Harmful bacteria and viruses are instantly killed – even in the surrounding air.” Without the need for harsh chemicals and intensive human labor, the GermFalcon’s UVC technology allows it to disinfect a cabin in a very short span of time.

According to Mental Floss, its creators, the father-and-son team of Dr. Arthur Kreitenberg and Elliot Kreitenberg, believe that just a five-minute session with GermFalcon could kill any nasties missed by cursory, human-led cleaning endeavors.

After all, as Elliot Kreitenberg explains in the device’s promotional YouTube video, the interiors of planes are only cleaned a handful of times a year, leaving passengers open to the risk of infection and illness. The GermFalcon, he says, was built to disinfect planes at high speeds, with minimal impact on the turnaround time between flights.

While the device has been patented, no carriers as yet have deployed the robot as their weapon of choice against in-cabin germs. Good health, of course, is priceless, but with a cost per use of only $.10 per seat per flight, the GermFalcon team hopes that airlines might one day see the value in their invention.

[Photo: paulista/Shutterstock]

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Matt4 May 18, 2017

This stupid robot only sends UVC on top of seats, not under the seats, under armrests, and of course is not able to deploy tray table to clean them. The YouTube video doesn't even show how it can clean the lavatories and I wonder how that machine could even go inside lavatories to clean them...