PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania company believes it has the solution to get fans back in the stands come fall.
Aeras Fog Company has developed a drone with enough power to sanitize entire stadiums in three hours. Even getting those tough to reach spots, like handles and underneath seats.
Aeras Fog co-founders Nick Brucker and Justin Melanson may have the solution.
"If this wasn't going to be something that's going away in a short period of time, there needs to be a solution to get people back to the things they enjoy doing," said Brucker.
A 50-pound MG1S drone with the ability to spray disinfectant up to 20 acres an hour and have people occupying the sanitized space within three minutes.
"There's no room for error, you know like human error could be an issue where somebody might miss something," said Melanson. "This drone doesn't miss anything."
The drone is similar to those used for fertilizing crop fields.
It's totally autonomous and uses electrostatic technology.
Charging the disinfectant as it passes through the spray tubes.
Areas Fog says that gives the disinfectant enough sticking power to fully coat surfaces and hit hard to hit areas like bottoms of seats and handles.
"It has a flight path and it does its own thing. When it runs low on fluid it will alert me come back and land. I'll put more fluid in it. It flies right back to where it stopped spraying and start spraying again," according to Melanson.
This technology is typically powered by handheld foggers and backpack sprayers.
Aeras Fog is designing similar products to be used inside schools and working on a partnership to use FDA and EPA approved disinfectant that protects against COVID-19 up to 90 days.
"If we could save a life -- 10, 20, 100 lives, this could be a very good thing for everybody right now," said Melanson.
The company is waiting on approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to actually spray the disinfectant from the drone.
Once they have that, they say they'll partner with another company that already has disinfectant approved by the CDC.