A robot developed by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) disinfected a Boston food bank from the coronavirus. The UVC light-equipped system, developed with Massachusetts firm Ava Robotics, disinfects both surfaces and aerosolized forms of the virus. A prototype was recently deployed at a warehouse for the Greater Boston Food Bank.
- The bot covered about 4,000 square feet of the food bank in 30 minutes, neutralizing an estimated 90% of surface coronavirus particles.
- Its creators added a CSAIL-designed UVC light array to Ava’s telepresence robot, which can map and navigate indoor spaces via waypoints. The short-wavelength ultraviolet light kills microorganisms like the virus.
- Researchers believe it can autonomously disinfect warehouses, factories, schools, and other environments. UVC light is harmful to humans, so the work must be done without human supervision.
- Autonomous robots are also disinfecting hospitals from the virus using UV light.