The Coronavirus has shaken our world and has brought along many challenges. Some of the challenges are extremely taxing while others are simply an inconvenience. Because many things have become inordinately difficult it makes little things much harder, this is where we can help.. Something that is not only extraordinarily tedious but takes up much of our time, despite its mundane nature is sanitizing. Practically every day there is talk of the new “thing” that we are expected to sanitize. Packages such as groceries can take hours to properly sanitize and is ultimately a waste of materials. The amount of cleaning supplies it takes to properly sanitize our belongings is ultimately wasteful and not beneficial to our environment. Because of this dilemma, I propose the idea of an all-encompassing sanitizing capsule. What I imagine is a box shape capsule that you would place your belongings in and the sanitation process would begin.
Ultraviolet lights would be the main source of sanitation. The University of California Santa Barbara recently conducted a study that proves Ultraviolet LEDs are able to disinfect materials that may contain the Corona Virus. For this reason, I do believe they are the best way to accomplish this goal. As well as being very useful for the pandemic we are going through, this capsule also has a place in our world beyond this epidemic. Ultraviolet LEDs are also able to disinfect a majority of “every day” bacteria. It is also safe on foods as well as a majority of materials. One of the dangers of using UV LEDs is human exposure. For the most part, they are relatively harmless with the exception of being damaging to your eyes. For this reason, I am implementing a layer of orange plexiglass surrounding the box to alleviate the strain on one’s eyes. I came up with this idea after a field trip to a local forensics laboratory where we had to wear orange glasses while using Ultraviolet Blue lights so as to not harm our eyes. I would implement this same technology in my capsule to achieve a similar effect.
In their research regarding UV LEDs, Columbia university has determined that the optimal wavelength for this to work is approximately 220mn. This wavelength is nonharmful to humans because of its inability to pierce cell membranes but is more than apt at eradicating the virus. The process of this device is fairly intuitive. It would simply by opening up the door, placing ones object inside, and pressing a button that would turn on the LEDs to begin the sanitizing process. Although this design is fairly simple I believe that this could make many people’s quarantine lives easier. It would alleviate hours of tedious sanitizing which could be spent doing so many other meaningful things. This also solves the growing issue of cleaning material shortage and growing issues in the environment. Ultimately I believe that this is a very practical and useful device that could make many people’s lives easier.