Robots Help Battle COVID-19

Coronavirus is everywhere. SARS-CoV-2 is affecting health, economies, and daily life on every continent with a permanent population. We’re still learning more about coronavirus disease each day as we see the number of new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and death rates from complications rise.  It will be a long time before we see the full impact of COVID-19. Some are predicting that the virus will bring an end to China’s claim as the world’s manufacturing leader. We won’t know what will happen in the future; right now people around the world are trying to stop the spread of the disease.

Keeping hospitals clean is a difficult, dangerous job

Most people who get sick with the flu can stay home and recover from their symptoms with little or no treatment. The same is true for COVID-19. However, those who get really sick—people with severe symptoms or complications—go to the hospital. Keeping hospitals clean is key in protecting patients and health workers.

Thorough cleaning is important, but it’s also difficult and dangerous. It can be difficult to clean everything as well as it needs to be cleaned, and people are prone to errors. It’s also dangerous because being around disease increases the risk of infection.

The good kind of killer robots

IEEE Spectrum reported on a Danish company sending autonomous robots to China that can help sanitize surfaces and kill coronavirus in hospitals. UVD Robots makes a cleaning robot that helps prevent the spread of diseases, viruses, and bacteria.

The company states that the robot is “safe, reliable, and eliminates human error”. The robot emits ultraviolet-C radiation with 360-degree disinfection coverage to kill 99.99% of bacteria. It can sanitize a room in as little as 10 minutes.

The five-and-a-half-foot tall robot weighs almost 310 pounds and travels around on a mobile platform at speeds up to 3.4 miles per hour. It connects to WiFi and can be controlled by an app. A three hour charge provides the UV module (the part that blasts the coronavirus with UVC rays) with two hours and thirty minutes of operating time. The mobile platform can run up to eight hours on a single charge. It can clean about 10 rooms before needing to recharge.

UVD Robot’s cleaning robots have been making rounds in Chinese hospitals for almost a month now. The company eventually plan on supplying more than 2,000 Chinese hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities with these coronaviruse killing robots.

This demonstrates one of the many benefits of automation—keeping people safe by removing them from harmful situations.