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Coonoor-based couple creates new mask to fight COVID-19

"This mask can make travel by air, land and water absolutely safe even when following social distancing is difficult," Professor Kanakalatha Rudrakoti said.

Published: 27th May 2020 05:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2020 05:48 PM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

COONOOR: A Coonoor-based engineering couple, both visiting professors at a Canadian university, have developed a new 'Antivirus Active Air Filter Mask', which they claim will be a boon to all segments of the travel industry.

"This mask can make travel by air, land and water absolutely safe even when following social distancing is difficult," Professor Kanakalatha Rudrakoti, who is an Engineer in Electronics and Communication and who was project manager of Agni Missile at Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) in Hyderabad, told The New Indian Express on Tuesday.

She demonstrated the application and advantage of the mask developed along with her husband Professor Ramakrishna Pillay who holds MTech degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Delhi, and is a retired colonel of Indian Army working in technical assignments for 25 years before becoming Additional General Manager at Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), Hyderabad.

He subsequently headed projects at Qualcom telecom company in the USA which supplied products to MTNL, Delhi and then became professor in Canada in Computer Science and Electronics.

"We have created a high-voltage firewall which can capture and kill all viruses including COVID-19 and the air inhaled through the active filter mask fitted onto a respirator is 99.99 per cent free of any virus," Ramakrishna Pillay claimed.

"The breathing chamber consists of three electrodes formed by copper or steel wire mesh sandwiched between a filter frame and spacer made of biodegradable plastic material. High voltage is applied across the closely spaced electrodes. Any living microorganism present in the air being breathed in, including COVID-19 is captured and electrocuted while passing through the electrode gap resulting in rendering the cell inactive," he explained.

"We have discovered that it is safer because no electrical part comes in contact with the human body and no air leakage occurs. Also, the mask is very comfortable to wear for long hours as it is very light," said Kanakalatha.

"We have approached the Indian government for its acceptance. Besides, it is useful for medical professionals as well," she disclosed.

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