Flying With Infante

Former Commodore part of innovative drone business

by Chad Bishop

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — One day, sitting in traffic in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, Adrian Mayans and his good friend looked up to see a window washer 30 stories up laboriously scrubbing the side of a skyscraper.

“Man, that looks like the worst job in the world,” Mayans remembers he and his co-passenger discussing. “There has to be a way to leverage existing technology to make that job safer and to make that job faster.”

Turns out? There is.

And when Mayans called former Vanderbilt baseball standout Julian Infante with the details of a potentially ground-breaking idea, Infante wasn’t hesitant in joining the endeavor.

Now, Lucid Drone Technologies is unexpectedly helping fight the battle against COVID-19 and Infante couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it.

“It’s obviously something we didn’t wish for because there’s so much harm that the coronavirus has done,” Infante said. “But hopefully we can kind of turn it around and do some good with our technology.”

Lucid Drone set out to, simply, help cleanse windows, roofs and the exteriors or large buildings. That fateful day in Charlotte that Mayans recalled led him and his former Davidson College baseball teammates to obsess over developing a way to get drones to wash nature’s grime off of large structures.

But just as Lucid Drone got off the ground, so to speak, the global pandemic of COVID-19 became a quick and harsh reality. Mayans and his co-founders – David Danielson and Andrew Ashur – decided to pivot their business model into something that could help heal the world.

“Our core competency from the beginning has been drones that specialize in chemical applications to clean buildings – why can’t we apply chemicals that kill the virus?” said Mayans, who also explained that not only do Lucid’s drones work to disinfect a facility but they also unleash a protective barrier that lasts for weeks.

Infante, a 36th-round pick of the Miami Marlins during the 2019 MLB Draft, helped Vanderbilt win the 2019 College World Series. He was named the Nashville Regional MVP and was an SEC All-Defensive Team selection as a senior.

It was during the fall of 2017 when Mayans rang his best friend since fourth grade to speak to him about the idea of a building-cleansing drone. And since most of the Lucid Drone team has a background in playing college baseball themselves, Infante helped grow the new business venture as much as he could while finishing his career as a Commodore.

Flash forward to a few months ago when Infante had the notion to reach out to Vanderbilt vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director Candice Storey Lee. Infante asked Lee if Vanderbilt Athletics would consider partnering with Lucid Drones to help stage a demonstration at Vandy’s athletic facilities – including Vanderbilt Stadium.

In late June, Infante was back on campus to help orchestrate that demonstration.

All this time later Infante’s full attention is on helping combat COVID while unexpectedly using the tools and lessons he learned while on West End.

“You really don’t think you’re going to use certain things you pick up, but things do start to come back to you and you do start to see them and you’ve done it before so it is something I’ve definitely had experiences with at Vanderbilt,” he said. “I’m grateful for that.”



Chad Bishop covers Vanderbilt for Follow him @MrChadBishop.