COVID ROBOT pixWaukegan aerospace company Astronics Corporation is building coronavirus-killing robots, called the Xenex LightStrike, to help hospitals and health care facilities protect patients and staff from the spread of the virus.

The device is being used by seven Chicago hospitals and 700 facilities worldwide, including in Florida, California and North Carolina.

The robot uses pulsed UV rays to penetrate the virus’ cell walls and destroy the molecular structure, killing the virus. A single robot allows hospitals to disinfect 60 or more rooms, destroying bacteria that can’t be reached through typical cleaning and uses no chemicals or toxic fumes.

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The Gallery Logo and InsideThere’s not much better than good food and beautiful art, and one business in Illinois puts both together under one roof. The Gallery in Lake Forest is a conceptual restaurant combined with an art gallery that features rotating exhibits from various artists and a constantly changing menu, which takes inspiration from the featured art and seasonal foods.

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Jung Food Network pixJulianna Jung, a home baker from Champaign, has been selected to compete in the Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network.

The first episode of the show aired last Monday, months after taping. Jung was surprised how calm she seemed during the episode, because she recalls how frantic she felt on the inside.

“I was so nervous because I don’t know the ingredients that we have there, I don’t know the oven, how does it work, what are the precautions we have to take we have to take so we’re COVID-safe,” Jung said.

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cat797 carouselIllinois is not short on “cool things” made in the state. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association named Caterpillar Inc.’s 797 foot mining truck the “Coolest Thing made in Illinois” as part of its Makers Madness Competition. The company received a trophy and banner for its honor this week.

The vote for the inaugural bracket-style event took place this spring and more than 300,000 votes were cast by everyday people. Caterpillar’s Decatur-made mining truck, which beat out 260 other products for the honor, stands at 23 feet tall on six 13-foot tires. It has top of the line class productivity and fuel efficiency to make it more environmentally friendly. The truck also has a top speed of 40 mph and can carry a 400-pound payload for a single trip. That’s enough to carry 686,000 ears of corn.

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Rivian carouselYour next package might be delivered in an electric vehicle made right here in Illinois. Rivian, an automotive company based in Normal, has partnered with Amazon to bring green transportation to your front door.

One of three prototype vehicles Rivian has been working on was showcased this past week—the high-tech delivery van includes exterior cameras with a 360-degree view, hands-free navigation guidance, smart shelving units for easy package retrieval and clearly indicated break lights to warn other drivers of frequent stops.

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