A Self-Driving Disinfection Robot to Combat the Coronavirus

Roaming around hospitals infected with the Coronavirus without a protective mask or PPE would not be considered a safe practice. But this machine, a new type of robot that can create coronavirus-free spaces in a matter of minutes, dos not require them. While a few days ago, we mentioned the dangers of contaminated surfaces and the new tools to detect the Coronavirus on them, this time we will be talking about a much more expeditious device. Developed by a Danish company, the robot uses a concentrated ultraviolet light lamp (UV-C) to exterminate any viral threats.

Besides its ultraviolet light lamp, this innovative technology project can move around rooms unaided thanks to its artificial intelligence algorithms. In addition to destroying any virus found on surfaces, it can also purify the air from pathogens. According to its inventor, it can wipe out 99.99% of all germs in a standard hospital room in less than ten minutes. The artificial intelligence technology allows it to focus on “infection hotspots,”such as washbasins, door handles, or the patient’s bed. Once it has finished, it can move on its own to the next room. As the powerful UV light can be harmful to humans, the system disconnects itself as soon as it detects people in the surrounding area. Finally, there is an add-on module for the detection of bacteria and biological fluids to assess hospital hygiene.

A technology project with an unexpected application

Its developers say that the project started back in 2014 when a group of Danish hospitals requested a technology solution to disinfect their buildings. The prototypes were launched in 2018, and in 2019 the robot received the IERA design award, one of the most prestigious in the robotics industry. However, nobody could foresee that it would become a valuable tool in the face of one of the worst pandemics since the Spanish flu in 1918. Its debut in the Sars-CoV-2 crisis took place in China, in the city of Wuhan, earlier this year.

In addition to hospital rooms, the robot can be used in quarantined areas and labs without the need for human intervention, which reduces contagion risks. Moreover, it can have civil applications in a post-pandemic scenario. As many countries approach the end of the lockdown, there are many voices concerned about minimizing health risks in the management of hotels, airports, or public areas. This type of robot, which does not require aggressive disinfection products, could be one of the answers in the new normal.     

If you want to learn about other advanced technologies in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, you can also check out this article.

Source: European Commission

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