UNC students create device that uses light to sanitize items amid COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t uncommon to see store shelves picked clean of sanitizing wipes.

Now, a group of UNC-Chapel Hill students hopes to shift the demand from chemical-based cleaners to a reusable sanitization method.

“We looked to UVC light which is a proven source of technology to help sanitize your belongings,” said UNC sophomore Mukesh Loganathan.

Loganathan and fellow students used the UVC lights to come up with the design for the Ultra Loop.  The device is meant to disinfect belongings from COVID19 and other bacteria.

“The research shows your phone and your wallet is probably one of the most dirty things in your entire belongings,” he said.

Loganathan says the Ultra Loop is designed to have water bottles, phones, keys, wallets, small packages, backpacks, laptops, books, and other items placed inside.  The UVC lights disinfect the items, while people can sanitize their hands.

“The Philips UV light bulbs we have, have that same certification of 99.9 percent of killing bacteria,” said Loganathan.

Each unit costs about $350 and is geared toward institutions, rather than individuals, Loganathan said.

He said his team has already sold nearly 5,000 units to hotels in India.

Loganathan says they are meeting this week with UNC’s chancellor to talk about putting the Ultra Loop in high-traffic areas on campus.

“Almost everyone congregates near the student stores, the library, and the dining hall.  If we have one in each of those buildings, I think every student would greatly benefit,” said Loganathan.

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