Video: Robot Can Neutralize about 90% of COVID-19 Particles on Surfaces

Monday, June 29, 2020 - 14:48

MIT researchers could develop a UVC light-equipped robot that can neutralize about 90 percent of coronavirus particles on surfaces.

UVC light is capable of disinfecting surfaces and neutralizing aerosolized virus particles, but it is dangerous for humans to be exposed. With this in mind, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) teamed up with Ava Robotics to develop a robot that can travel through and disinfect spaces autonomously, Engadget reports.

The partners added a custom UVC light fixture designed by CSAIL to Ava Robotics’ mobile robot base. They deployed the prototype at the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). The robot drove through GBFB’s warehouse at about 0.22 miles per hour. At this speed, it could cover about 4,000 square feet (the entire warehouse) in half an hour and neutralize approximately 90 percent of coronavirus particles on surfaces.

The researchers believe the approach could be used to autonomously disinfect other environments, like factories, restaurants, supermarkets and schools. The system is capable of mapping a given space, and it can navigate between waypoints and other specified areas.

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