The Red Sox will employ a rolling squad of ultraviolet light-emitting disinfecting robots to keep Fenway Park safe this season.
Designed to kill the COVID-19 virus and its variants, the robots made by the Surfacide company will be used to keep high-touch points at the ballpark as hygienic as possible once fans begin reentering for the first time since the end of the 2019 season.
When the Red Sox open their 81-game home slate April 1 at 12 percent capacity, the 4,500 fans and hundreds of employees at Fenway might encounter the robots, which consist of a trio of slim black cylinders set on a four-wheel base. The towers work as a team, using laser mapping to allow them to get as near as possible to high-touch surfaces before blasting them with a burst of UV rays that destroy genetic bonds of coronaviruses and other pathogens within five minutes.
The Waukesha, Wis.-based company said its Helios system is used already at Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Bay State Medical Center, Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Hebrew SeniorLife, and NewBridge on The Charles.
“A lot of time and consideration went into outlining our heightened sanitation procedures for the upcoming season and our partnership with Surfacide is an important part of those protocols,” said Jonathan Lister, Red Sox vice president of facilities management, in a press release. “With a hospital-grade UV technology product like this, we are able to ensure our ballpark is ready to safely receive fans throughout the 2021 regular season.”
Said Surfacide founder and CEO Gunner Lyslo: “The Red Sox organization has taken the lead in creating a comprehensive infection prevention approach that incorporates Surfacide and other leaders in the disinfection space to provide a safer environment that is appreciated by fans and employees alike.
“With the return of fans to professional baseball parks, the world is watching and the Boston Red Sox have set the bar high.”