Bacteria and viruses aren’t new, but if there is anything that the coronavirus pandemic has taught us, it is how easily transmittable some of them are, and how important practicing good hygiene is. While it is possible that one day the coronavirus will be a thing of the past, it doesn’t mean that we should go back to our normal ways.
In fact, researchers at MIT’s CSAIL have teamed up with Ava Robotics to design a robot that can move about autonomously. This robot will also be equipped with UVC light that will then disinfect surfaces and also neutralize airborne virus particles. Given its autonomous nature, it means that factories with warehouses or shared spaces in general can be disinfected after work where the robot will be able to navigate their way around the space without the need for human intervention.
Based on its current design, the robot is capable of traveling at 0.22 miles per house, which means that it can cover a 4,000 square foot warehouse in about half an hour, while disinfecting about 90% of virus particles on surfaces. Like we said, given its autonomous nature, it can be used in all kinds of shared spaces, including restaurants, maybe hotel lobbies, supermarkets, schools, and so on.
When exactly this robot will be commercialized and deployed remains to be seen, but it is definitely something we wouldn’t be surprised to see more commonly used in the future even after this pandemic is over.