$280K in grants go to MI companies creating coronavirus solutions


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new set of grants aims to move Michigan forward during the coronavirus pandemic, sending cash to airports, ambulances and everything in between.

PlanetM, the state of Michigan’s mobility initiative, awarded more than $280,000 to five companies to combat challenges caused by the virus.

One of the recipients is GHSP in Grand Haven, which created a UV-C light that can kill the virus in five minutes.

“It’s been awesome,” said Cathy Stewart, an engineer with the company. “When we first plugged them all in and we are taking the readings and how quickly the germs are being removed is very exciting.”

The lights are being tested now in ambulances out of Grand Haven and next in Grand Rapids. Ridesharing services like UBER and Lyft could be next to install the lights.

“It’s endless. Wherever you feel the UV-C can go into, you can put it there,” Stewart said.

At Gerald R. Ford International Airport near Grand Rapids, disinfecting robots will soon be roaming around. Pratt Miller, based near Farmington Hills, created them to dispense a federally-approved disinfectant through a multihead sprayer. They use sensors and data to guarantee coverage.

A company out of Troy, Penske Vehicle Services, is creating safety partitions for vehicles to create a physical buffer between drivers and passengers. RCO Engineering is also developing pilot partitions.

A California-based company, Gatik created an autonomous delivery truck. Fixed routes in Grand Rapids and Rochester will start soon, working to keep supply chains moving with contactless delivery.

The solutions will start being implemented next month.

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