How UV Disinfecting Robots are Helping in the Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a wave of innovation and creativity from a wide range of industries - and robotics are right at the forefront of the fight against this deadly pandemic.

Robotics has helped in a huge range of ways during the pandemic, including everything from serving coffee to enforcing stay-at-home orders. One of their most exciting deployments comes for a particular and helpful application - UVC disinfection.

UVD Robot

Robots and UVC Disinfection

Here's how this innovation works: in high-risk spots worldwide, places are using revolutionary robots to zap rooms with ultraviolet (UVC) light. This burst of light helps to kill the COVID-19 disease - saving workers the time and danger of in-depth cleaning and disinfecting. It also provides a helpful boost to places where the risk of COVID-19 is very high for occupants - places like nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, and operating rooms.

These super-cool UV robots have garnered a great deal of attention from media around the world. The notice has included:

A feature in The Robot Report about UVD Robots, the makers of one of the most popular disinfecting robots on the markets. UVD (part of Blue Ocean Robotics) has actually been working on their robotic disinfecting solution for over half a decade. The company is now trying to keep up with the significant demand for the robot coming in from Asia and the Middle East (along with considerable interest in places all around the world). According to the company stats, the use of robots can reduce bacteria in hospital rooms by up to 83%.

As profiled in CTV News, Global News, and McGill's news publications, the first disinfecting robot to come to Canada is currently under testing. Constructed by that same company - UVD Robots - the helpful bot came to Canada on April 27 for trial in a patient room and an operating room at McGill's Centre for Innovative Medicine in Montreal. The robot will also get deployed at long-term care homes and the Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montreal; it will also get tested to determine the robot's effectiveness at disinfecting masks and stretchers.

This robot is also now being used in warehouses.

Amazon is also getting into the UV-disinfecting robot game. Built by Amazon's own robotics laboratory, the UVC disinfecting robot (profiled in Business Insider) travels up and down the aisles at Amazon's warehouses to zap germs. The robot is currently in trials. 

In the Steel City of Pittsburgh, a retrofitted robot went from scrubbing floors to blasting germs with UV light. As profiled in The Verge, Carnegie Mellon researchers transformed the Pittsburgh Airport's floor-scrubbing robots into the same UV light-using cleaning tools so useful around the globe.

Another entry into the UVC-disinfecting robot game in the struggle against coronavirus comes from Keenon Robotics Co. Featured in The Robot Report, their disinfection robot combines the UV light with a disinfection spray. Chinese locations are already using Keenon robots.

A Groundbreaking Moment?

As the world waits for a coronavirus vaccine, innovation and creativity across many industries is a must for treatment, protection, and disinfection - and it's clear that UVC robots are going to be a big part of this push. We've already seen them deployed at places like airports, hospitals, and care centers; how long will it be before they move into retail places like movie theaters, or even the home? It's something to watch closely as the pandemic continues.

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