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Virus-Inactivating Drone Wins Raytheon Hack Prize

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Using a drone and UV light to inactivate viruses, University of Arizona (UA) graduate student Sunglin Wang and his team won the 2016 Hack Arizona’s Raytheon prize for Best Drone Related Hack.

Inspired by the recent Ebola outbreak, Wang, along with partners Wendy Wang and Alice Ferng, created the X-Terminator Drone, which uses UV light reflected off aluminum propeller blades to irreversibly damage a virus' genetic material, making them benign and unable to replicate.

The team says that the technology would help reduce field risk for healthcare workers and volunteers when faced with an epidemic, with the ultimate application being used in healthcare facilities and patient clinics. High-risk areas can be sanitized by a drone prior to human contact.

Hosted at UA, Hack Arizona brings over 800 participants together to build software and hardware projects from start to finish in under 36 hours.

For more information on the first-place project, visit

In a video produced by the UA team, the drone has been hacked, and an Arduino has been connected to the drone itself through the pins on the controller board. Courtesy of Alice Ferng/X-Terminator Drones.


Photonics Spectra
May 2016
BusinessAmericasArizonaawardssunglin wangBiophotonicsRaytheondroneslight speed

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