Student Builds UVC Light Robot

Student Builds UVC Light Robot to Disinfect During Pandemic
Posted on 11/09/2020
UVC RobotClear Brook High School Senior Rishi Bengani is no stranger to robots. He has been involved in CCISD robotics for years and is captain of his world-qualifying team.

While stuck at home at the beginning of the pandemic, his robotic team found ways to keep busy. The group created masks and face shields, but Rishi wanted to make a larger impact.

As things began to open again, he searched for a way to disinfect his mother’s daycare.

“I was wondering if there was any other way to help with what was going on right now—a simple, more effective way to sanitize,” he said.

During his research, Rishi came across a Columbia University study, which tested the effects of a particular wavelength of ultraviolet light on coronavirus.

“This Columbia University study actually showed that UVC is able to neutralize the current coronavirus,” he said. “I started looking online to see why it is not being utilized. If there is something this big with a world pandemic going on, why didn’t the average person know about it?”

He quickly learned that UVC light can be harmful for human skin and eyes. Companies were charging thousands of dollars for autonomous UVC disinfecting robots, so he decided to create his own.

With all VEX Robotics parts, Rishi built a robot and attached two UVC lights to it. He programs the robot by first driving it through a room with the light off. The robot then has a map of where to disinfect when he is gone.

Rishi created his own website and has connected with people across the country to help them build their own robots.

“There’s people around the country that are working on improving it for their different circumstances and it’s just a community of people who want to help each other out during this hard-pandemic time,” he added.

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