Made of PVC film stretched like the membranes of a bat’s wing between carbon-fiber supports, the Be a Bat Man wearable is embedded with wires that generate enough heat to kill pathogens and maintain a sterile environment within the shield.

Norbert Sparrow

March 6, 2020

2 Min Read
Batman-Inspired Shield Would Protect Wearers from Coronavirus

We’ve been told that that we may need to make some major lifestyle adjustments in the wake of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. How about going about your daily business wearing protective gear like the device seen here that would shield you from the virus by sterilizing itself using ultraviolet rays?


The Be a Bat Man device is designed to maintain a sterile environment within the wearer's bubble. Image courtesy Penda.

The so-called Be a Bat Man wearable device is designed by Beijing-based architectural firm Penda. Co-founder Sun Dayong, who led the project, describes it on the firm’s Instagram account as “a wearable space device that can effectively isolate us outdoors to ensure safety. The ultraviolet radiation network on the surface of the device can heat up to sterilize the surrounding environment, turning contact a way to kill, rather than spread, the virus,” he writes. And here’s the coolest part: The device can be folded up and worn like a backpack, automatically deploying “when we need to contact the outside world,” writes Sun Dayong. The design follows bionic principles, he adds, taking bats as the prototypes.

The shield would be made of PVC film stretched like the membranes of a bat’s wing between carbon-fiber supports, reports Dezeen, an online media outlet devoted to architecture and design. Embedded wires would generate enough heat to kill pathogens on the device surface and maintain a sterile environment within the shield.


When it's not needed, the shield folds up like batwings and can be worn like a backpack. Image courtesy Penda.

"The coronavirus will be killed by temperatures of 56°C," Sun Dayong told Dezeen. “The PVC film cover is like our car windshields — there are heater wires in between the glass to [melt] the ice and snow in the winter.”

But don’t rush to your local Walmart just yet. A great deal of engineering work remains to be done, Sun Dayong conceded. He is  currently looking for a financial backer and is willing to offer his design services free of charge to bring this project to fruition. Should the coronavirus be contained before Be a Bat Man swoops onto store shelves, Sun Dayong mused to Dezeen that the device could simply be used as a “unique private mobile space for people.”

Because, you know, we need that.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 20 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree. Reach him at [email protected].


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