Sanitization today is more important than ever, especially after the recent pandemic that temporarily blocked the globe. So MIT developed a robot capable of navigating spaces for kill viruses with UV light. The automaton has been tested at a food bank in the Boston area with very positive results.
There are several types of UV light, and they are generally divided into three categories: UV-A, UV- and UV-C. The latter is much more harmful to living organisms than the first two. However, it is possible to use artificial UV-C radiation to our advantage to effectively sterilize objects and surfaces around us.
The robotic basis of the project comes from Ava Robotics. The team replaced the screen usually found on the top of the robot with a custom ultraviolet lighting system. MIT researchers decided to test the system in the field in the Greater Boston Food Bank; since UV-C is dangerous for all living organisms, the robot should only be used when no one is around.
With a capacity to cover 354 meters per hour, the robot crosses every surface and takes only half an hour to cover an area of 370 square meters, neutralizing about 90% of viruses on surfaces. Experts are currently trying to improve the algorithms that govern the system, in the hope of putting the device on the market as soon as possible for dormitories, schools, airplanes, grocery stores, supermarkets and much more.