The Carolina Panthers will use a $125,000 virus-killing robot in their stadium as fans return with Covid-19 restrictions

Locker room showing a Xenex LightStrike Robot

Source: Xenex, Inc.

The Carolina Panthers will use robotic technology to help with Covid-19 as the club prepares to allow fans back in its home stadium.

The team announced it’s using a germ-killing robot made by San Antonio-based company Xenex. The firm specializes in disinfection for health care services.

Two robots purchased by the Panthers will be used in locker rooms, showers and other areas throughout the stadium.

Xenex’s ultraviolet robot, the Xenex LightStrike, will be used throughout Bank of America Stadium, located in downtown Charlotte. The Panthers will allow limited spectators for the first time this season after North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said large outdoor venues can have up to 7% capacity due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns. The rule is effective starting Friday.

According to Xenex, the robot can kill the virus that causes Covid-19 in minutes using “pulsed xenon, a noble gas, to create Full Spectrum, high-intensity UV light that quickly destroys infectious germs.”

The robots cost approximately $125,000 each. Xenex said hospitals that use the robots disinfect up to 60 rooms per day with one unit. Xexen says its claims are backed by a study published by the University of Cambridge in England.

“The robots’ broad-range spectrum of UV light wavelengths penetrate the cell walls of pathogens and destroys their molecular structure. This includes the deadly coronavirus,” the company says.

Weight room with a Xenex LightStrike Robot

Source: Xenex, Inc.

“There are a lot of companies making claims about their newly introduced UV wands and other devices,” said Xenex CEO Morris Miller in a statement. “We call that, ‘the theater of disinfection.’ The LightStrike robot is the only device that has been proven to kill SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, in two minutes.”

The robots can kill viruses on surfaces, including countertops and computers, without “causing damage to equipment, furniture, clothing, and other items.” However, the robots are not safe for use on humans or animals, the company says.

“People are looking for a disease conscious lifestyle,” said Miller. “They want to make sure when they go into a public space, that they’re not going to get sick because of pathogens that have been left on the environment.”

“The significance of an NFL team, in this case, the Carolina Panthers, using a LightStrike robot, shows that they’re making a concrete commitment to player safety,” Miller said.

Four of Xenex’s robots have been used for two months at San Antonio International Airport. The company said sales have increased by 600% since the Covid-19 outbreak. Xenex will open a second manufacturing site outside of Chicago to join its first site in Texas, it said.

According to, Xenex has raised roughly $91 million since 2012. Xenex’s latest funding round was in October 2018 for $5 million. The website said Xenex had a 2017 valuation under $500 million.

The Panthers will host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

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