Will New Disinfecting Drones Expedite Return of Major Pro Sports? - Sports Illustrated

Gambling Today: Will New Disinfecting Drones Expedite Return of Major Sports?

Tech start-up EagleHawk has developed drones to disinfect large stadiums and arenas. Will it hasten the return of major pro sports?
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As the MLB, NHL and NBA all consider a return to action, a New York-based company is offering a solution to keep their stadiums and arena germ-free by spraying disinfectant from drones.

A Syracuse startup called EagleHawk, which was founded in 2016, announced that it has developed a drone that can assist in quickly killing the coronavirus. While EagleHawk usually specializes in drones that use thermal cameras as an innovative inspection process to detect roof issues in buildings, they took a different business approach when the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. in March.

The company made drastic changes by removing the thermal cameras from its drones and replacing them with a device that sprays disinfectant. The disinfectant, which consists of chemicals approved by the EPA for effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2, is stored in a tank on the ground which is then pumped to the drone through an attached hose.

EagleHawk states that “common methods of disinfection, including using crews of people to clean and disinfect areas by hand, are time consuming and too costly to scale across large areas.

On-site workers are very susceptible to contract the virus, which is why the drones would become immensely useful. We’ve seen dozens of workers building the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and Los Angeles’ So-Fi Stadium test positive over the past several months for coronavirus.

So far, EagleHawk has tested its disinfecting system at local stadiums and arenas in northern New York. The company is marketing its drone to colleges, as well as major and minor league sports teams, as a way to make their facilities safe for fans, players and workers.

EagleHawk states “it is coordinating with agencies such as FAA, EPA and the New York DEC to ensure its spraying plans meet all expectations and regulations.” The company’s website indicates that they already have relationships with about two dozen colleges and universities, who could become potential customers for stadiums and arenas that will obviously become in need of disinfecting. 

This could be a game-changer for all fans and bettors who are hoping for a return of all sports. Even more so, it could lead to the allowance of reduced, social-distanced fans in the stands at events sooner than anyone ever could have predicted. 

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