“Now please, leave the room, close the door and initiate disinfection,” collection of electronic signals voice from the robot.
Mini circuits present in a robot, activate to produce a signal which takes the form of a voice which puts such string of words forth.
But now, Simon Ellison, VP UVD Robots, is more boastful of recent alteration in such voice signals which can push forth words in Chinese language as well.
Such is basically a machine, put in a room of a facility (which can be a hospital, clinic, bank, etc) to eliminate microbes with a gush of ultraviolet light.
Per Juul Nielsen, chief executive puts the blame on corona virus outbreak for sky-rocketing the demand in recent days, as the company ships a large number of robots to China, particularly to Wuhan, where it all started. Besides, in many other Asian and European countries too, a steady rise in demand is recorded in recent days. Mr. Nielson has particularly made a mention of Italy since the country is in desperate situation and the company is all prepared to lend a helping hand this way.
Located in Odense, Denmark, as a result of rising demand, production is almost doubled and with more tech innovation involved, a robot is designed, assembled, operated and tested within a day now.
There is an assortment of 8 bulbs from where emission of concentrated UV-C ultraviolet light takes place, which is a killing machine for bacteria, viruses and also extends coverage to microbes but only to eliminate them fully, by targeting their DNA and RNA so as to prevent their proliferation.
This is equally harmful to humans and hence, no human presence is advised in a room when the process is on which is just a 20 minute affair, following which the room releases a terrible reek but only for an hour, somewhat similar to a burned hair.
Now, Prof Hans Jorn Kolmos butts in stating, “”There are a lot of problematic organisms that give rise to infections”. At the university of Southern Denmark, he is a professor of clinical microbiology and has contributed massively in design of this robot. Also, he is jubilant of his invention stating, “If you apply a proper dose of ultraviolet light in a proper period of time, then you can be pretty sure that you get rid of your organism.” In case of corona virus, he states, “This type of disinfection can also be applied to epidemic situations, like the one we experience right now, with coronavirus disease.”
Priced at $67,000 (£53,370) for each piece, the robot was initially developed to minimize the HAIs (hospital-acquired infections) which can turn life threatening and involved stacks of money earlier.
Even though there is not gathered any specific evidence to establish robot’s effectiveness, but still, Mr. Nielson is full of confidence, as he enlightens, “Coronavirus is very similar to other viruses like Mers and Sars. And we know that they are being killed by UV-C light”.
To his support, Dr. Lena Ciric comes in, who is molecular biology stalwart and an associate professor at University College London, stating that such robots who propel UV light can actually help check the menace of coronavirus.
To cast a greater impact, UV should be unleashed directly upon the surface which should be cleaned thoroughly (and manually)first, since dust or other things may block such rays from reaching the target areas. In fact, UV rays of light have been put in use earlier also, for purifying air and water and such are also used in labs extensively but enabling such light with auto-programmed robots is a recent invention.
In same context, there is Xenex, which is a firm in USA which has a brand LightStrike which throws intense UV light from a bulb which is designed like a horse-shoe but this machine requires placing directly at the location. Xenex too, receives higher number of orders for such machines from various Asian nations such as Japan, Thailand, South Korea and also from Italy.
As per company, their machine LightStrike has proved to be deeply effective in lowering the hospital-acquired infections and in checking the spread of superbugs. Besides, in 2014, it was implemented in a Texas based hospital to wipe the surface following the Ebola scenario.
Currently around 500 healthcare establishments make use of this machine, especially in the states of California and Nebraska where a great number of coronavirus patients are undergoing treatment.
In China too, they are pursuing new technology aggressively and on far footing, to combat disease. Even though, IDC (which is global research firm) report indicates China already invests heavily upon drones and robotics.
Senior research official at IDC China, Mr. Leon Xiao confirms that robots are widely put in use to accomplish a wide array of tasks, from promoting disinfection to deliver medication and medical supplies to removing waste to measuring temperature. Mr. Xiao goes on to say,” ‘I think this is a breakthrough for greater use of robotics both for hospitals and other public places”.
Interestingly, the outbreak of coronavirus has compelled robotics companies in China to think differently in order to innovate. In such a league, YouiBot, which is based in their province of Shenzhen, has already started designing autonomous robots and has shown a towering favour towards technology simply to develop and install integrated device to uproot infection.
Mr. Keyman Guan, representing YouiBot, said, “We’re trying to do something [to help], like every one here in China”. Now, the company has installed thermal cameras alongside UV-C bulbs which strike out light.
Their robot has already been made operational in scores of institutions, like airport, hospital, offices and factories, he adds, It’s running right now in the luggage hall… checking body temperature in the day, and it goes virus killing during the night,”
Even though Professor Kolmus laments, “There are not many good things to say about epidemics”, then finds consolation in stating,“ but it has forced industry “to find new solutions”.