Fighting an unseen enemy can prove difficult at best, and impossible at worst. With today's COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing, sterilizing and disinfecting have become a crucial aspect of our day-to-day life.
Unfortunately, using chemical products to perform frequent cleaning procedures can be costly, and, in extreme cases, prove to be a health hazard. That's why a team of researchers at MIT's department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) developed a fully automated robot using UV-C lights to meet all our disinfecting needs.
In collaboration with Ava Robotics and the Greater Boston Food Bank, this group of researchers wanted to design a robot capable of minimizing the risk of spread in areas where we are most vulnerable. Schools, grocery stores, and food banks are just a few examples. Some public gathering areas, such as restaurants, already use UV-C lights to disinfect surfaces in a cost-effective manner. Ultraviolet rays kill microorganisms with a process called "ultraviolet germicidal irradiation", disrupting DNA reproduction and ultimately eradicating the threat.
Food Banks deliver an essential service to our society. It is therefore essential for us to do our part and ensure they do not worsen the state of the Pandemic. This robot can cover up to 4,000 square feet of a warehouse per hour and disinfect all surfaces along the way. Sadly, UV-C is also harmful to humans. However, the MIT team made sure their patent did not require any human supervision, clearing that small hiccup.
All in all, this can prove to be a highly effective tool to help reduce the gravity of the pandemic and improve our quality of life.
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