Researchers are developing a robot that kills viruses and bacteria

Researchers at Örebro University are developing an open source and easy-to-build robot that uses UV-C light to kill COVID19 and other viruses.
“The goal is to allow anyone to build a robot and then use the software that we’ve developed,” says researcher Andrey Kiselev.

The cleaning robot is being developed through the AI.MEE project sp00tn1k-clean. The collaboration project is run by Alfred Nobel Science Park, Örebro University and Region Örebro County, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Researchers André Potenza and Andrey Kiselev at AASS (Centre for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems) are collaborating on the development of the robot. Their goal is to provide an open-source and easy to build robotic solution, that can be rapidly deployed when needed. Most components can be bought at a technology retail store, others are specifically designed for quick and affordable manufacturing using consumer grade 3D printers and eco-friendly materials.

Uses harmful UV-C light

The cleaning robot is a so-called telepresence robot, which is connected to a wireless network and can be controlled remotely via a computer or mobile phone. It is intended for use in hospitals and similar environments requiring disinfection. The robot uses UV-C light to kill viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause diseases.

”Since UV-C light is harmful to all organisms including humans, a robot equipped with these lamps and our software has the advantage that it doesn’t require the physical presence of humans in the disinfection process.” says André Potenza.

Sensors and cameras

The robot can work fully autonomously or be remotely teleoperated using a collection of sensors and cameras. During a demonstration show at Teknikhuset at Örebro University, the robot had ordinary fluorescent tubes since UV-C radiation is harmful.

Andrey Kiselev hopes the robot can be used in different types of environments.

"The software that we develop is at the core of our expertise in telepresence robotics and the result of many years of research," he says.

Text and photo: Mikael Åberg
Translation: Jerry Gray