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Cleaning Robot Assisting in Facility Reopenings

July 7, 2020

As facilities overhaul their cleaning protocols to ensure a hygienic building for returning workers and patrons, they are relying on the diligence of their cleaning crews. However, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, especially in larger facilities, is a labor-intensive task that places those doing the cleaning at risk of encountering the novel coronavirus. Many facilities are turning to robots for additional help.

Scientists at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are working on a robot suitable for helping to keep larger facilities clean, Forbes reports. The MIT team, in collaboration with the Greater Boston Food Bank and Ava Robotics, developed a robotic system to disinfect surfaces using an ultraviolet (UVC) light that’s built into the base of a mobile robot. They believe the robot could be a useful solution for a wide range of work environments, from factories to supermarkets.

The system uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms through ultraviolet germicidal irradiation. The robot begins by mapping the space it will be working in, and then navigates a route.

During tests at the food bank, the robot was able to cover approximately 4,000 square feet of the warehouse in around 30 minutes. The research team claims that roughly 90% of the coronaviruses on surfaces would be neutralized during this time.

Learn how robots are coming to the rescue of the cleaning industry in helping to clean and disinfect facilities amid the coronavirus crisis.

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