Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Keyboard Sterilizer

PostedNovember 4, 2007

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins:  Jon Roberts, a patent attorney and engineer in Reston, was thinking about his son's activities.
Jon Roberts:  I was never so sick in all my life as when he went to elementary school.

Randy Atkins:  And zeroed in on a likely culprit: school computer sharing.

Jon Roberts:  You can spray a keyboard, but if you spray it too much you short the keyboard out.

Randy Atkins:  So Roberts engineered a keyboard cover that bathes the keys in ultraviolet light, killing germs -– even those antibiotic-resistant ones -– in seconds.

Jon Roberts:  By the time the next class arrives, the keyboard's sterilized.  They just pick it up and move it out of the way.

Randy Atkins:  And, yes, teachers, a series of switches would make it horseplay resistant.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.

Roberts says he's working on the third prototype and hopes it will be available next year.