MIT-designed robot can disinfect a warehouse floor in 30 minutes -- and could one day be employed in grocery stores and schools
Sat July 04, 2020


The university''s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) worked with Ava Robotics -- a company that focuses on creating telepresence robots -- and the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) to develop a robot that uses a custom UV-C light to disinfect surfaces and neutralize aerosolized forms of the coronavirus.

该大学的计算机科学和人工智能实验室(CSAIL)与专注于制造人工智能机器人的Ava Robotics公司以及大波士顿食品银行(GBFB)合作开发了一种机器人,它使用定制的UV-C光对表面进行消毒,中和雾化新冠病毒。

Development on this project began in early April, and one of the researchers said that it came in direct response to the pandemic. The results have been encouraging enough that the researchers say that autonomous UV disinfection could be done in other environments such as supermarkets, factories and restaurants.


While household cleaning solutions are able to reduce the spread of the virus, an autonomous robot capable of quickly and efficiently cleaning large areas such as warehouses or grocery stores could prove to be essential. The researchers used the base of one of Ava Robotics'' mobile robots and modified it with a custom UV-C light fixture.

虽然家庭清洁的解决方案能够减少病毒的传播,但一种能够快速有效地清洁仓库或杂货店等大面积区域的自主机器人可能是必不可少的。研究人员使用了Ava Robotics公司的一个移动机器人的底座,并用定制的UV-C灯具对其进行了改造。

UV-C light has proven effective at killing bacteria and viruses on surfaces, the researchers said. However, it is harmful to humans. The robot was built to be autonomous without the need for any direct supervision or interaction.

研究人员说,紫外线- c光已被证实能有效杀死表面上的细菌和病毒。然而,它对人是有害。因此该机器人被设计成自动的,不需要任何人直接的接触或者交互模式。

The team tele-operated the robot to teach it to navigate around the warehouse by setting up predefined waypoints, and the team said that it is currently exploring how to use the robot''s onboard sensors to adapt to changes in the environment.


The goal is for the robot to become capable of adapting to our world to dynamically change its plan based on estimated UV-C dosages.


The UV-C array affixed to the top of the mobile robot emits a short-wavelength ultraviolet light that kills microorganisms and disrupts their DNA in a process called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, the researchers said. This process is typically used in hospital or medical settings to sterilize rooms and stop the spread of microorganisms.