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TopXGun Robotics uses drones to fight COVID-19 from above

June 25, 2020  - By
Photo: TopXGun/Septentrio

Photo: TopXGun/Septentrio

In early February, TopXGun Robotics — based in Shanghai, China — started to use 10L drones for spraying disinfectant to help fight COVID-19. Six volunteers provided free disinfectant spraying service to more than 10 large companies, factories and universities, covering about 800,000 square meters in the Shanghai area.

TopXGun outlined the advantage drones have over manual spraying.

Safety. Using a UAV means no wokers inhale disinfectant. Pilots stay distant, and no one enters a sprayed building until it is safe.

Effectiveness. By spraying from above, drones can reach difficult locations, such as a landfill or a roof. Reportedly, the spray can kill the virus in the air.

Cost-savings. Only one pilot and one assistant are required to operate, reducing labor costs.

The 10L drones are equipped with Septentrio’s high-precision GNSS, which provides robust anti-spoofing and anti-jamming capabilities, important in urban areas.

Before spraying, TopXGun used a XC-05 vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) drone to survey the area. With reliable real-time kinematic (RTK) technology from the Septentrio receiver, the survey drone accurately generated a map of the operation area, marking the flight route. In this way, the spraying drone could fly and spray automatically in most cases. If the operation area is in an irregular shape or has obstacles in the middle — such as poles or trees — the mapping pilot can use markers to indicate these obstacles so the spraying drone will avoid it.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.