Published on 15 Apr 2020

NTU Singapore researchers build disinfection robot to aid cleaners in COVID-19 outbreak

Named eXtreme Disinfection roBOT, it can be wirelessly controlled, removing the need for cleaners to be in contact with surfaces

Researchers from NTU Singapore have developed a semi-autonomous robot that can disinfect large surfaces quickly. The researchers are planning to have public trials to support Singapore’s fight against COVID-19.

Named eXtreme Disinfection roBOT (XDBOT), it can be wirelessly controlled via a laptop or tablet, removing the need for cleaners to be in contact with surfaces, thereby reducing the risk of picking up the virus from potentially contaminated areas.

In this current COVOD-19 outbreak, there is a national demand for deep cleaning and disinfection services. According to news reports, working hours for cleaners have doubled to 16 hours a day due to the manpower crunch.

The new robot differs from other disinfection robots currently on the market that are primarily intended to clean and vacuum floor surfaces and are unable to disinfect odd-shaped surfaces or anything above ground level.

Comprising a semi-autonomous control unit with motorised wheels, XDBOT has a 6-axis robotic arm that can mimic human movement to reach awkward locations such as under tables and beds, as well as doorknobs, tabletops and light switches. And instead of a conventional pressure-spray nozzle, it uses an electrostatic-charged nozzle to ensure a wider and further spread of the disinfectant, behind and over hidden surfaces.

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