Kraków engineer invents ‘virus-killing’ chair that disinfects itself
An engineering student from Kraków has become the ‘darling’ of the design world after inventing a chair that disinfects itself using UV-C light.
By analysing which parts of a chair are most often touched by its user, Angelika Kopcińska from the Kraków University of Technology designed a pressure sensor to detect when someone was sitting.
She then added a DC motor which 10 seconds after the chair is vacated activates special rollers which release the ultraviolet light (UV-C) diodes to disinfect the areas that have been touched.
Having studied which disinfection methods work best against viruses, the 24-year-old found UV-C light the most effective.
She said: “The research proved that ultraviolet UV light -C effectively removes viruses, it is commonly used in hospitals to sterilize surgical instruments.
“But this type of ultraviolet light is dangerous in contact with the skin and human eyesight, therefore it can be used for disinfection while maintaining appropriate safety measures.”
She added that the solution had a wide range of applications and could be used in schools, waiting rooms, on public transport as well as in restaurants.
She said: “In medical facilities, such as clinics or hospitals, where many patients appear, the exchange of bacteria and viruses occurs, not only through contact with an infected person, but also through contact with a contaminated surface.
“In such places, chairs should be disinfected after each person. For obvious reasons, this is not possible.
“The use of chairs with an automatically disinfecting mechanism in this type of facility would be an ideal solution, increasing people's safety and reducing disinfection costs.”
The designer and her invention have now been flooded with praise.
Dr. Józef Tutaj, her thesis supervisor at the university’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering said: “This is really a unique diploma thesis - a perfectly prepared theoretical project, with very practical potential.”