Since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, robots have been seen as an answer to associated social distancing and workforce issues. They have also been eyed as a solution to the near-constant disinfecting processes required to keep areas as virus-free as possible. Automation World first reported on this in April 2019 in the article COVID-19 Provides Use Cases for Mobile Robotics.
Now Fetch Robotics has announced the release of its SmartGuardUV disinfecting autonomous mobile robot, built in cooperation with Piedmont National, a supplier of packaging equipment and services, and Puro Lighting, a supplier of disinfection UV lighting. According to Fetch Robotics, the SmartGuardUV is an autonomous, broad spectrum UV disinfection robot that eliminates up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria with UV-C, UV-B, and UV-A. It also reports on the results of the disinfection.
Designed to autonomously disinfect high-traffic areas ranging from assembly and warehouse facilities to hospital rooms, the SmartGuardUV combines Fetch Robotics’ cloud robotics platform, Puro Lighting's pulsed Xenon UV fixtures, and Piedmont National’s 4Site cloud analytics platform.
The SmartGuardUV uses mapping technology and 3D camera vision to autonomously direct broad-spectrum UV light from a pulsed Xenon lamp to disinfect priority areas within a facility. Puro Lighting says its pulsed Xenon UV lamp fixture requires as little as 90 seconds to disinfect a 10-ft. workstation and as little as six minutes to disinfect priority areas of a personal office. The pulsed Xenon UV lamp technology used in SmartGuardUV has been tested by independent accredited third-party testing labs and is registered with the EPA.
Piedmont National’s John Garlock says, “Legacy autonomous disinfection robotic solutions can only operate for two to two-and-a-half hours on a single charge, whereas the pulsed xenon light engines on the SmartGuardUV—which precisely targets UV rays at high touch surfaces—can operate for 8 to 10 hours on a single charge.”
Prior to the release of the SmartGuardUV, Fetch released the Breezy One, chemical disinfection autonomous mobile robot designed for large spaces over 100,000 sq. ft. According to Fetch Robotics, the Breezy One is designed for wide area deep cleaning, while the SmartGuardUV is designed for targeted cleaning.