Dublin High students design drone to sanitize school for reopening

Bay Area

DUBLIN, Calif. (KRON) — Students in Dublin High School’s Robotics Club are combining their brainpower together to make their school safer when the campus reopens for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Dublin High is slated to welcome students back into classrooms starting in January 2021.

During the past several months of distance learning, students who are part of the Gael Force Robotics team have been designing a large drone that can sanitize outdoor areas with speed and efficiency using artificial intelligence.

Robotics club president Niharika Suravarjjala told KRON4, “It can be flown autonomously or manually, and can clean football stadiums like the one at Dublin High — covering 6,200 square feet — in just 6 minutes.”

Their goal is to have the four-foot-wide drone up, flying, and sanitizing by December.

They hope their invention will help make returning to school safer for everyone.

“The idea was initially suggested by our Vice Principal, Mr. Faris, and also the management and operations team. They brought up the fact that it was actually taking hours for them to disinfect our football stadium, and our band room, and a lot of our facilities. We started researching potential ways we can curb this problem,” Suravarjjala said.

When Dublin’s whiz kids searched for solutions, they were most impressed by the NFL Atlanta Falcons team’s sanitization drone.

Suravarjjala and a dozen other robotics team members rolled up their sleeves and designed a similar drone one that is much cheaper to build.

They plan on sharing their design across Alameda County so that it can be replicated for more schools and help keep the pandemic under control during reopening.

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