UVBot: A Low-Cost Robot for Indoor Sanitizing
As our communities begin to reopen, autonomous indoor virus disinfection measures must be implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This is crucial to ensure a safe environment for people as day to day life resumes in a post-COVID-19 world. Furthermore, other pathogens, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are becoming more dangerous. These types of diseases are usually acquired in hospitals and are often more resistant to antibiotics. They require robust environmental disinfection in order to mitigate their spread.
In response to these needs, we have already developed a low-cost, autonomous robot to clean surfaces using 254nm ultraviolet (UV) lamps . Our UVBot can autonomously navigate spaces such as the inside of homes, classrooms, corridors, shops, and the interior of buses to disinfect surfaces by killing bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19. Our system implements a wall following algorithm with a fixed speed determined by the amount of time it takes the UV lights to disinfect 99.9% of the viruses in its working volume. We plan to implement various modifications to our system to improve its usability, as well as test its efficacy using simulation.
In current stage, 2D lidar is implemented on the UVBOT, and together with IR sensor, the robot is able to autonomously sanitize the enviroment with 2D SLAM algorithm.
The following figure and video show the cleaning procedure and robots path for autonomous sanitizing in a corridor.