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2 Wichita State University students lead major project at McConnell

Wichita State University
Wichita State University
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 11:24 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Two Wichita State University students are partnering with the Innovation Lab at McConnell Air Force Base on a major innovation project. Computer science students Lucy Houang and Lydia Melles are creating an autonomous robot that uses UV lights to clean grocery stores.

The robot’s sterilization method was created to specifically target the coronavirus, “but the UV technology can be used long-after the pandemic to combat the spread of other germs,” said McConnell in a release.

Houang and Melles are currently working on a simulated version of the robot to check the kinematics of the design. These simulations include checking to see if the robot’s wheels can support its weight while maneuvering around the simulated grocery store, seeing if the robot can fit down the store aisles and if it can maneuver easily around store displays.

Houang and Melles are making sure the design is sound in theory before they build a physical robot. Once the robot is built and fully operational they will use it at McConnell’s Commissary before expanding to other areas on base.

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