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Disinfection Robots to Tackle Corona
Semi-Autonomous and Efficient

The deadly Coronavirus has made the world get on its knees. It has put tremendous pressure on the healthcare sector in order to meet heavy and constant demand for medical attention. With many places under lockdown, the general public is faced with a dilemma as to how they are supposed to respond to this problem. The healthcare workers too are under a lot of stress with the amount of work pressure they are put under.

Video Credits: NTUsg, YouTube

Researchers all over the world are trying their best in order to reduce the damage done by this virus and to support the medical staff. The researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have now developed a robot which can prove to be extremely useful while disinfecting large surfaces.

The name of this robot is eXtreme Disinfection roBOT (XDBOT). This is a semi autonomous robot and is capable of disinfecting large surfaces quickly. This robot was developed in order to support Singapore’s fight against the Corona virus.

This project is headed by Professor Chen I-Ming. While explaining the entire process Professor Chen I-Ming said, “To stop the transmission of a virus means we need a way to quickly disinfect surfaces, which is a labour-intensive and repetitive activity” He further added that, “Using our new robot from a distance, a human operator can precisely control the disinfection process, increasing surface area cleaned by up to four times, with zero contact with surfaces.”

Professor Chen I-Ming is also the founder and CEO of Transforma Robotics. The eXtreme Disinfection roBOT or XDBOT was developed by the NTU students who are working with Transforma Robotics. Other entities associated with this project are Hand Plus Robotics and Maju Robotics with the help of two other industry partners, Asia Centre of Technologies (ACOT) and Tungray Singapore Pte Ltd.

Image Credits: NTU Singapore

The eXtreme Disinfection roBOT or XDBOT can be controlled wirelessly through a laptop or a tablet. This robot can prove to be an excellent alternative for cleaners who are at the risk of coming in contact with surfaces carrying the virus and might get contaminated.

This robot is equipped with a 6 axis robotic arm which is capable of mimicking human movement. This arm allows the robot to clean the hard to reach places such as under the table or beds, doorknobs, table tops and light switches. This robot moves around with the help of motorised wheels.

The Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) Senior Vice President (Research) Professor Lam Khin Yong said, “During this challenging period, we are proud that our scientists have come together and gone the extra mile to develop a homegrown robotic solution to help address the current manpower crunch in the sanitation industry and to minimise transmission risks associated with COVID-19.”

The eXtreme Disinfection roBOT or XDBOT is a rechargeable robot. It can operate for 4 hours continuously and it is also equipped with an 8.5 litres tank. This robot makes use of an electrostatic charged nozzle which gets the disinfectant to spread to a wider and longer area. It also makes it possible to reach behind and over hidden surfaces.

The XDBOT makes use of LIDAR technology which allows it to move around in any environment in a semi autonomous mode. LIDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. This robot is also equipped with high definition cameras however its arm is still controlled by a human operator.

 

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