LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Some amazing innovations are being introduced in Las Vegas. It's all part of a UNLV global-competition to find the best ideas and products to help the valley rebound from COVID-19. We have a look at some of the great ideas coming out of this contest.
INVESTING A MILLION DOLLARS
UNLV's Lee Business School wants to invest a million dollars in the best solutions for helping people feel save again. The hope is to fuel hospitality, entertainment and travel; the key industries driving Las Vegas. The competition started with 250 submissions from 32 states and 10 countries.
"I felt really excited when the Lee Prize came up, because we're a great solution for COVID-19," says Richard Ferrell, president of Purlin, LLC.
RECYCLED BED SHEETS
His company is among those being considered for its recycled bed sheets.
"The main thing is you're sleeping on sheets that no one else has slept on," says Richard.
That's an attractive benefit in a COVID-19 world.
"Remember, the one thing in the hotel room that you have the most connection with are the sheets and pillowcases. 6 to 8 hours," says Richard.
COMPARABLE TO 800 THREAD COUNT
But how comfortable are Purlin sheets?
"A man-made fiber doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be uncomfortable... Ours feel like a 6 to 800 thread count sheets," says Richard.
RECYCLED BY MELTING
Richard says another bonus is, these sheets never have to be washed. Meaning the water savings could be tremendous.
"Rather than being laundered, it's 100% recycled by melting it... There's not a lot of energy used in melting. Think of like a crockpot, a giant crockpot melting the fabric at 510-plus degrees," says Richard.
MAIDBOT CLEANING ROBOTS
Another contender in the Lee Prize competition is Maidbot.
"While the room attendant is actually cleaning the bathroom, the robots can be going around and cleaning the other space," says Micah Green, Maidbot's President and CEO.
UNLIKE ANY CONSUMER MODEL
He says this isn't your ordinary household smart vac. This robot is working with robust battery life and WiFi connection to keep it running a long, long time.
"When you look at a consumer model it's just maybe a couple times a week. Maybe a few times a week. Whereas in the commercial setting it's used every day 8 to 10 to 12 hours a day," says Micah.
Micah says businesses have found everyday vacuums can't handle that kind of work.
MORE MAIDBOTS TO COME
"These consumer ones, the batteries melted literally within a couple weeks or parts would break off, motors would burn out rather quickly. So durability is huge," says Micah.
This is just the first type of Maidbot to be revealed. Micah says his team is working on more to help cleaning crews disinfect other surfaces and clean faster.
"In terms of future projects we're still very early on, but have a clear sense of requirements and potential. We've been getting hit with a lot of demand for sanitization and wet cleaning," says Micah.