Howard Payne University students, professor build hat to kill COVID-19

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BROWNWOOD, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – For students and parents, learning during a pandemic has been an adjustment.

Many are still getting used to wearing masks and social distancing.

For three students at Howard Payne University in Brownwood though, they’re not just sitting by waiting for it to end.

“Everybody’s trying to find some way to cure it. Whether it be vaccines, face shield, masks,” said Howard Payne University student Talen Davis Rentfro.

Rentfro and his fellow classmates are working together with their professor to create a hat that blocks the sun and COVID-19.

“[We] call it Aurakills,” said HPU professor Dr. Martin Mintchev.

It may look like a piece of plastic placed between two baseball caps, but when it’s all wired and turned on, the illuminating lights are designed to block any germs in its line of sight.

“It kills virus particles on contact, so it’s essentially like a mask, but it’s better because it doesn’t trouble your breathing,” said Rentfro.

Right now the hat is made with LED lights, but the idea is to replace them with UVC lights that kill off viruses.

“They already have far UVC lamps which do kill virus particles but are not harmful at all to human skin,” said Rentfro.

The team has laid down the frame work, but when the UVC lights come in, they could have something worth a lot more.

The team has done research regarding the less harmful UVC lights.

They say they are hoping the lights will come to the market soon so they can finish their product.


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