Autonomous robot developed that disinfects food bank using UVC light

MIT, through its Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), together with Ava Robotics, have developed an autonomous robot dedicated to the disinfection of the different areas of the warehouses of some food banks, by using type C ultraviolet light, whose wavelengths make it possible to eliminate the contamination. Most viruses and bacteria are on the surfaces, being also dangerous for humans and other living beings, so the robot must work without the presence of any human being nearby.

For this, CSAIL has already designed a type of UVC lamp that they have placed on the base of the Ava Robotics robot so that it can move through the different areas of the warehouses of some food banks. Researchers are finding encouraging results, already thinking about the possibility of taking it to other types of establishments such as factories, restaurants, or shopping centers.

UVC light is commonly used to disinfect hospital rooms, although with the coronavirus pandemic, its use has been spreading to the point that the New York Subway also uses UVC light to disinfect rooms.

The MIT points out that the robot is capable of mapping space and navigating between different specific areas, whose amount of UVC light used is capable of neutralizing 90% of the coronaviruses available on the surface, although they are also considering expanding the amount of UVC light for others. surfaces in order to achieve a higher level of neutralization.

For now, the robot has been taught where to move in order to function autonomously in its night work, although the next step will be to use the integrated sensors so that the robot can adapt to changing environments and modify its speed. to the new conditions that you will find in your movements, allowing you to detect pallets and other elements that may be in each aisle through which you must pass.

For Alyssa Pierson, CSAIL Research Scientist and lead developer of the UVC lamp:

Food banks provide an essential service to our communities, so helping keep these operations running is critical.

Also add that:

Here, there was a unique opportunity to provide additional sanitizing power to your current workflow and help reduce the risks of exposure to Covid-19.

The new robot will make it possible to cope with the expected increase in severe food insecurity around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the United Nations.

Image credit. MIT News

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