A robot that kills germs using ultraviolet light is the latest high-tech weapon produced in the UAE in the the fight against Covid-19.
Developed by the Dubai-based cleaning company, Sanitizexperts, the Ministry of Health-approved germ-buster uses UV light to disinfect hospital wards, offices and malls without the need for chemicals.
The company claims this makes its Automated UVC Robot both safer and more efficient in fighting the spread of the coronavirus, as well as kinder to the environment.
The robot uses artificial intelligence to navigate its way around spaces and estimate how much time will be required to disinfect them. It uses radar vision and ultrasonic technology to avoid colliding with furniture or other obstacles, and delivers 360-degree disinfection of the area without any of the smell or residue that chemical sprays would leave behind.
The powerful UV lamp works for up to 8,000 hours but switches off automatically when a person is in the vicinity. The robot can sterilize an area measuring 800 square meters in 150 minutes, which is around ten times more efficient than other disinfection methods, it is claimed. The UVC robot works through WiFi and can be managed from a PC or through an App. The software assists with mapping the area that needs to be sanitized and it is possible to have several robots working at the same time. When its battery gets low, the robot automatically returns to its charging station.
Research carried out by the non-profit International Ultraviolet Association found that UV disinfection technologies are a valuable tool in reducing the spread of Covid-19. Omar Chappuis, CEO of Sanitizexperts said: “Whether in a hospital, airport, mall, home or the office, the robot will ensure that bacteria are eliminated, allowing for clean, safe living.”
The Automated UVC Robot, which can be rented or purchased, is the latest example of how the UAE is pioneering the use of advanced technology in the battle to overcome the pandemic. Due to accelerated testing, the UAE has managed to carry out about four million Covid-19 tests so far and is looking to perform another two million over the next two months, according to a report in the Khaleej Times.
Some other developments:
• Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health and the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain have teamed up to develop a mathematical model that is 90 percent accurate in tracking and pre-empting the spread of Covid-19. The algorithm in the computer-based model will track the movement of the virus through human movement and create a map to show where it is spreading fastest. The map will help the authorities plan the allocation of resources in advance and also to decide if any localities need to be closed.
• MetaTouch, located at UAE University’s Science and Innovation Park, has developed a social distancing alarm that uses thermal cameras to detect how close people are. It beeps when they get too close to each other, thereby enabling them to maintain a safe distance. The company has also developed touchless elevator technology for Abu Dhabi International Airport.
• The Abu-Dhabi artificial intelligence company Group42 has linked up with Oxford Nanopore Technologies in the UK to develop a mass screening system to boost the detection of Covid-19. As well as using nasal swabs, they are also working on being able to screen for the virus from a saliva sample.
Anna Pukas has reported from all over the world as a foreign correspondent for British media. She is now an editor based in Abu Dhabi.