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'Sanitizing spray drones' designed to disinfect large arenas, venues, concert halls, parks

Drone operators direct the drones to hover feet above targets and spray EPA-approved disinfectant that kills the coronavirus.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Now more than ever it’s important to keep public spaces clean. But disinfecting larger areas like arenas or theaters can take a lot of time, so a local drone company is stepping in to help.

Virginia Beach drone company Lyfted Media is offering drone sanitation services to clean large areas in little time.

You might be familiar with the agriculture industry using drones to fly above crops to fertilize fields or spray pesticides; it’s the same concept.

“A solution using new technology with traditional cleaning methods," said Jimmy Olivero, Lyfted Media's owner and chief pilot. “We can do it quickly and more efficiently than a traditional service.”

The drones carry up to 10 liters of EPA-approved disinfectant that can kill germs like the coronavirus.

Pilots hover the machines about 10 feet above the target area and then spray the solution.

“There’s drones out there that are being manufactured to spray pesticides over the crops. What we did is take that drone and use EPA-approved disinfectant and we were spraying down arenas," Olivero said.

“Any inside arena like Scope, [but] we can also apply to Harbour Park which is like an outside-indoor combination stadium, but we can apply it to all the seats there.”

Olivero says this new technology can come in handy when entertainment venues get the go-ahead to re-open.

“To help them have that peace of mind when they visit the Scope, visit the opera house, visit Harbor Park," Olivero said. "They want to know that it’s a safe place; I can come back, enjoy my time and get my mind off things, watch a baseball game, see a concert, listen to some live music."

This is something new for the drone business. Olivero says his company usually shoots video for live sports and entertainment venues.

“Once COVID-19 hit, it shut everything down. Obviously, it hurt their company, hurt our company, and we were thinking of ways we could pivot our business to provide a service that is needed, right now," Olivero said. “We lost a lot of money, like a lot of businesses. Drones are just an innovative way... it’s technology, and how can we apply this technology to a traditional sense of work or service.”

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