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EdTech: How drones can sanitize for COVID

UC aerospace engineering professor Kelly Cohen explains how drones can help during pandemic

EdTech Magazine talked to University of Cincinnati professor Kelly Cohen about how drones theoretically could be deployed on college campuses to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to EdTech, studies are underway in Europe to see if unmanned aerial vehicles that do widescale crop spraying can instead be used to disinfect large indoor or outdoor areas for COVID-19 before people use them.

Kelly Cohen gives a talk in front of a presentation screen.

UC professor Kelly Cohen. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

Kelly Cohen, interim department head of UC's Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, told EdTech that this is theoretically possible.

 “There are spaces where you have a lot of students congregating, maybe moving from one building to another, and that open space could be disinfected by drones,” he told EdTech.

In UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science, Cohen's students work on new drone applications and technology in UC's UAV Master Lab. Students work on topics such as robotics, intelligent systems and navigation.

UC engineering students have partnered with such diverse agencies as NASAthe Ohio Department of Transportation and the U.S. Air Force Research Lab, among others. Their projects have tackled traffic monitoring, infrastructure inspections and disaster response and management.

Featured image at top: UC research associate Bryan Brown, left, and UC graduate Austin Wessels operate a drone in this 2018 photo. UC collaborated with the Ohio Department of Transportation on a traffic-management project. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand

A UC student in a safety vest holds a drone in both hands with UC's campus in the background.

UC graduate Austin Wessels operates a drone in this 2018 photo. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand