The Lithuanian robotics company is designing a globally unique disinfection robot

Mar 25, 2020
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The Lithuanian robotics company Rubedo systems based in Kaunas is designing a globally unique disinfection robot that can help fight the COVID-19 coronavirus.

‘The disinfection process poses a serious threat to people of getting infected with viruses. Thus the autonomous robot we are developing could effectively address the issue and ensure that our employees are fully protected’, said Paulius Rakauskas, Business development manager at UAB Rubedo systems.

The idea to design such an autonomous robot prototype emerged among technology developers at the outset of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in China. Specialists of the company reached out to an American company manufacturing disinfecting equipment and offered to cooperate in developing a robot as a self-driving disinfection device. The Americans expressed great interest in the idea and work started immediately. The robot was first introduced in the Asian market just where COVID-19 had broken out. The first robot prototype will shortly begin working at a hospital in Hong Kong.

Several companies in the world offer mobile robots able to disinfect premises with ultra-violate UV. Still, the method is not very efficient and has numerous side effects on the surrounding equipment and people.

The robot designed by Lithuanian technicians has numerous advantages. First of all, the disinfection process involves spraying particular vapour on walls, handles, tables, chairs, the mist may also be sprayed on medical equipment.

Vapour penetrates the minutest openings of premises or equipment that could not otherwise be readily reached or disinfected with conventional means.

‘The disinfection vapour is safe for any surfaces. The disinfection method itself eradicates 99.999 per cent of bacteria, viruses, fungi including COVID-19. The room becomes virtually sterile, – says Mr Rakauskas.

The designers also mentioned another advantage of the machine – after the disinfection, there is no refuse of any toxic substances, just oxygen and water vapour. This disinfection method is entirely safe for people. It also is suitable for disinfecting food products.

The autonomic robot operates thoroughly and with high precision. The robot can repeatedly disinfect, thus maintaining the premises sterile permanently. The method provides sufficient protection to people as they do not have to stay in possibly infected premises or try to disinfect the place manually. The robot can map the surroundings and set a route which it follows to treat the surfaces. The robot can clean premises much more thoroughly according to a pre-set path and can repeat the action much more frequently.

The operator can set the frequency and the time of the day to perform the disinfection operation. The robot can disinfect the area whenever needed and controlled remotely, i.e. via a smartphone or a computer.

The autonomous robot has significant potential for future applications. The robot could be adapted in hospitals, quarantined locations, offices, education institutions, shopping centres, warehouses, various public areas such as stations or airports.
Once the company finishes the prototype, it will still ongoingly improve its design and functionality. Currently, UAB Rubedo systems are looking for additional investment and intend to participate in the innovative idea competition ‘Life-saving innovation: stop COVID-19’, announced by MITA, and the EU investment instruments Inostart and Ino-checks.

‘It is just beautiful to see that technology developers are actively joining the efforts to combat COVID-19, and offering various innovative solutions to the market. Such ideas can have a breakthrough effect and help the world, so the state will seek to provide financing terms conducive to developing innovative projects, says Kęstutis Šetkus, Director of the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA).

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