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Engineers in China develop disinfection robot in a week

09 April, 2020

Engineers in China working for Siemens and the refrigeration and appliance manufacturer, Aucma, have developed an idea for an intelligent disinfection robot into a prototype in just one week. The electrically-powered robot, which can overcome obstacles and navigate slopes, can disinfect an area of up to 36,000m2 in an hour.

Since the Corona virus outbreak, there has been an urgent need for robots that can free hospital staff from having to disinfect high-risk areas. Yu Qi, head of Siemens China’s research group for advanced manufacturing automation, led a team of ten specialists with a wide range of expertise.

Most disinfection robots combine a petrol-powered mist gun with an electric chassis. However, on-site refuelling is neither clean nor easy. The team therefore decided to develop an all-electric disinfection robot. The biggest challenges included ensuring maximum sterilisation impact with minimal disinfectant consumption, and providing 360 degree coverage even in confined areas.

The robot, powered by a lithium battery, can disinfect 20,000–36,000m2 in one hour using two mist guns. A 360-degree camera on top transmits videos and information in real time. This is coupled with an intelligent vision algorithm that allows the operator to locate affected areas remotely and thus prevent the spread of infection. To allow the robot to operate easily on different surfaces, the team chose a caterpillar drive instead of wheels.

Developing the initial idea for the disinfectant robot to a prototype took just one week.

From the initial idea to the prototype, took only a week. The new robot will be used not only in hospitals, but also in schools, offices, factories and other public places.

• Following the Coronavirus outbreak, there will be a surge in demand for mobile robots for disinfection, monitoring and surveillance duties, propelling the mobile robotics market to $23bn by 2021, predicts the analyst, ABI Research.

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