‘Our technology is recognised by DST which has been tested by certified labs’
PerSapien Innovations, a start-up, has built a device called Airlens Minus Corona, which can reportedly help in large-scale sanitization of public places, thereby preventing the spread of coronavirus. The cofounders of PerSapien Innovations and the brains behind this device, Dr Sashi Ranjan and Debayan Saha share more details about the technology used in their invention, its efficacy, their company’s plans and partnerships, and more in an exclusive interaction with Lakshmipriya Nair
According to you, Airlens Minus Corona (-Corona) can counter the spread of Coronavirus. Can you explain the science behind the device? Where and how was the proof-of-concept established? Has it been validated by any research organisations or regulatory agencies?
According to the technology, the device will fight the coronavirus with corona discharge. It has been devised into a “Robo Sapien” (a human-like) machine that operates on the mechanism of charged/ionised water droplets which is ionised using the corona discharge. The ionised water in return oxidises the viral protein reducing it to a non-harmful molecule.
Here, oxidation is one of the most potent anti-microbial tools which can sterilise the entire city. Our technology uses an optimal combination of electric energy and water atomisation techniques to induce a charge on water droplets while creating the most potent oxidative entities, hydroxyl radicals that can oxidise and kill coronavirus.
After the technology was ideated, the implementation took place in West Bengal, near Kolkata in Hubli district where the science behind the innovation was already established and even recognised and approved by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which has previously supported similar technologies.
Our technology is recognised by DST which has been tested by certified labs.
Tell us about your collaboration to deploy this device with the West Bengal government. How soon will the state start using it?
We have already initiated the collaboration with some of the municipalities in the Hubli district. Furthermore, we are also working on tying up with the fire brigade department of Kolkata for its implementation which will soon launch the first trial.
When you say that the technology has also been recognised by the New Delhi-based Technology Development Board (TDB) under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, what does it entail? What will be the next step in this partnership?
The Technology Development Board (TDB), a part of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Government of India is a recognised unit which is already aware of these science and technology and is constantly looking for such solutions and innovations which can be of help to the citizens of the country.
TDB has recognised this technology and has also circulated for proposals from different innovators around it. We have already submitted our proposal to them and are awaiting their response.
Have you also tied-up with the private healthcare sector? If yes, who are your clients? Have you started delivering the devices to them?
Airlens Minus Corona is not a commercial product as we are not driven by the desire to gain profit. It is created to serve humanity against the gruesome attack of coronavirus. It was not devised from a business perspective. The COVID-19 has thrown humans into a ghastly emergency and we just want to contribute in this fight against this epidemic.
Considering the deadly situation India is exposed to, the government authorities will need such technology to curb the menace created by the virus. Therefore, while the entire country is fighting the virus together, we would like to contribute by giving Airlens Minus Corona to the government and ministry to check the robust spreading of the virus. Therefore, we are trying to tie up with the government so that the city can be sanitised at a larger scale.
How long does it take to create/develop the device? If the demand rises, what are your strategies to scale up the production?
We are already developing a module for mass production. Apart from this, if we are given enough support, then we can manufacture enough products for pan-deployment, especially for urban places in India within a few weeks.
How user-friendly and cost-effective is the device?
The device is pretty much cost-effective as we are now developing modules that can fit into existing systems like a water tank. It becomes very cost-effective because we cut down on the cost of building the whole system. Moreover, it can be implemented fast because we are trying to use the existing systems available to us, like fire brigade.