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Robot that kills pathogens in the workplace

Business 22 May, 2020 Follow News

UV-C Sterilising Robot

By Lindsey Turnbull

 

Cayman is moving slowly out of lockdown back to work, bringing employees back into offices and other buildings in a measured way that includes the introduction of social distancing and heightened sanitation, in order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. One company, LED Specialists, believes it has an important means by which business owners can ensure that their premises are kept free from all viruses and bacteria (not just coronavirus), harnessing technology that employs UV lighting affixed to a robot to kill any such pathogens in the workplace.

A specially created robot is fast, efficient, simple to use and extremely effective, eliminating 99.999 per cent of all bacteria within 10 minutes in a patient room or standard white-collar office, they said.

 

Safety in the workplace

Ken Moore from LED Specialists, the UVD Robot dealer for the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean, said there were two components that needed to be taken together to be effective safeguard against bacterial or viral transmission in a workplace: firstly an employer must ensure that proper protocols are followed religiously, such as wearing face masks, frequently washing hands and ensuring social distancing. Secondly, the employer needed to provide a sterile environment, free of all viruses and bacteria for employees and customers in which to operate.

“The first component is a matter of practices and procedures created and enforced within a workplace and hopefully followed in public by all employees. The second component, providing a pathogen-free, clean workplace is up to the employer,” Mr. Moore said.

An employer basically has two choices when it comes to cleaning the workplace: the conventional way which requires frequent spraying with a disinfectant or sterilising with UV-C light.

Mr. Moore explained the benefits of UV-C sterilisation versus conventional disinfecting: “Because UV sterilisation isn’t a wet solution like other disinfectants that can leave behind residue, it can be used as a more efficient solution for ensuring that equipment and instruments are effectively cleaned,” he said. “The sterility of the environment can also be compromised due to cleaning staff not doing their job effectively each and every time. Liquid sterilising is time consuming to be done properly, subject to human error, cannot be used well on porous materials (paper/fabric), and very labour intensive. It also exposes both your employees and cleaning staff repeatedly high doses of strong chemicals and the potential damage that these can cause to their health.”

By comparison, UV-C light (as opposed to UV-A and UV-B light which we get naturally from the sun, but which are not so effective in killing pathogens) can disinfect a surface by damaging the DNA and RNA material in harmful bacteria and viruses, which are then damaged beyond repair, neutralising them from replicating or harming anyone, he explained. Not a new science, UV sterilisation has been around for a number of years, used to disinfect such things as water, air and work surfaces.

 

UVD robot

To create a portable UV-C light that can disinfect services more efficiently and effectively than a human, a robot has been developed which has undergone rigorous testing before becoming available to the public for purchase.

Mr. Moore said that the manufacturer, UVD Robots, was a Danish-based company founded in 2016 that combined the latest technology in mobile robots with an ultraviolet light top module.

“The UVD Robot, clinically tested and verified, is used as part of the regular cleaning cycle, and aims to prevent and reduce the spread of infectious diseases, viruses, bacteria, and other types of harmful organic microorganisms in the environment,” he stated.

It is necessary for a robot to undertake the UV-C light emission as direct exposure to UV-C light is harmful to both plants and animals, so the UVD Robot increases the safety of individuals who use the environment in which it operates. Effective when used in larger work spaces when used as part of an evening maintenance programme, the robot can effectively clean public and group areas outside of normal business hours. It’s also a rechargeable, self-docking Smart-robot with built-in cameras, proximity and motion sensors with fully programmable, self-function capability that can follow pre-programmed routes to clean room after room without having endangering the well-being of cleaning staff.

 

Uses

Mr. Moore said the UVD Robot would be useful for any business in Cayman looking to improve the cleanliness of their environment, including Government buildings that have a lot of public traffic, such as Planning, DMV, the libraries, police stations, Port distribution centre buildings, post offices, to name a few, he said. The Owen Roberts International Airport and Cayman Airways airplanes could also employ the robot as part of their nightly cleaning regimen, as could the cruise ship passenger port terminal, he said, as well as other large private companies that see a lot of foot traffic, such as banks, law firms and accounting firms.

“I think the thing to remember about the UV-C product is that it is not specific to preventing the spread of just the Covid-19 virus, but all viral and bacterial pathogens on an ongoing basis,” Mr. Moore said. “This helps prevent or minimise the spread of any infection from outside the office to the rest of the employees, with or without social distancing. A device like the UVD robot should be part of an ongoing environmental cleaning protocol in an effort to help keep both your staff and customers healthy by creating a clean workspace.”

For more information regarding the UVD Robot, contact LED Specialists at 623-3463 or email info@leds.ky.


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