A Waukegan aerospace company announced Saturday that it has begun constructing coronavirus-killing robots.
Workers at Astronics Corporation are building the "first-proven coronavirus killing robots," the company said, entitled the Xenex LightStrike.
The $125,000 device is already being used by seven Chicago hospitals and 700 healthcare facilities worldwide, according to the company, including in Florida, California and North Carolina.
"In a peer-reviewed study, published in the journal, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, researchers report that within two-minutes LightStrike’s pulsed xenon, full-spectrum, ultraviolet rays achieved a 99.99% level of disinfection against the coronavirus," Astronics Corporation said.
The Illinois company said the robot uses pulsed UV rays to penetrate the virus' cell walls and destroy the molecular structure; hence, killing the virus.
"“This technology is important today because these are the most powerful UV robots that have ever been made. They're 4,000 times more intense than any other UV robot that has ever been on the market. As a result of that, they're extremely fast," Xenex CEO Morris Miller said.
Xenex and Astonics have signed an initial $20 million manufacturing agreement, a release said. The Waukegan facility houses approximately 300 employees, all of whom are working to build the robots.
According to a release, a single robot allows hospitals to disinfect 60 or more rooms, destroys bacteria unable to be reached through typical cleaning and releases no chemicals or toxic fumes.