Thanks to coronavirus, disinfecting robots may become a common sight

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Disinfecting robots may become a common sight. According to the WHO, traditional cleaning methods are only 60% effective. Rosanna Philpott reports.

Transcript: This may become a common sight.

At work, at the shops or public transport.

Disinfecting robots.

According to the World Health Organization, traditional cleaning methods using humans and cleaning solutions are only 60% effective.

Across the world, new robots designs are quickly emerging in an attempt make spaces safe again.

This remote-controlled robot is equipped with a disinfecting vapor cannon.

It can sanitize large areas inside and out and may help Britain get back to work after lockdown, according to its developers.

“As it is it can be used in a variant of applications from inside of buildings such as this, external, shopping centres, churches. It can be operated from a hundred metres away. It could go inside a building and disinfect the inside of different rooms inside a building while the operator sits in a car outside.”

Another method is using UV light to sanitize objects and spaces, like this robot, that’s being deployed in malls in Singapore.

Instead of spraying chemicals, the Sunburst UV Disinfecting Mobile Robot relies on its ultraviolet C lamps to sterilize surfaces, hard-to-reach crevices and even the air.

UV disinfecting robots are being put on the frontlines elsewhere across the world as well, like this one in a Boston food warehouse or in Buenos Aires.

Argentinian firm UV Robotics says while a human can’t cover every millimeter of a space that needs sterilization — the UV robot can and has a disinfection rate of more than 99%.

Over in Asia, Hong Kong International Airport is deploying 12 cleaning robots which emit ultraviolet rays, spray disinfectant and clean floors.

The technology was first used on chartered flights that brought residents back to Hong Kong for lockdown.

“We have been doing this in the last one or two months and preparing for the resumption of passenger flights and we hope they will all come back.”

And underground, Hong Kong’s subway is deploying an autonomous fleet of mini-fridge-sized robots spraying a “vaporized hydrogen peroxide” (VHP) solution to disinfect trains and stations.

“The first thing we do is use bleach water solutions to clean the environment. But there are still tiny gaps, a tiny area that is not easy to reach, therefore we keep on deep cleaning, keep on deep cleaning day in and day out.”

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Saurabh Shukla

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