In the fight against the novel Coronavirus, hospitals, nursing homes, government agencies, schools, and businesses are all searching for quick and effective ways to sanitize hard surfaces. One new avenue is making that possible: disinfection robots.
What Is a UV Disinfecting Robot?
Disinfecting robots are autonomous machines that reduce the amount of harmful microorganisms, organic or inorganic, that are found on hard surfaces. The robots use UV light to break down the DNA structure of bacteria, vira, diseases, and other pathogens.
Why Use Disinfection Robots?
A UV disinfecting robot can be useful for large spaces, such as hospitals, warehouses, and grocery stores, because they work almost completely autonomously. This means that the robot can clean rooms or large sections of a space without needing human assistance for the majority of the time.
Additionally, it reduces the risk of human error. While wiping down hard surfaces with cleaner and towels reduces the risk of contact transmission, the human touch is not always perfect. This is particularly ture if you have an employee sanitizing your business by hand. A UV disinfecting robot can help to ensure that hard surfaces are properly cleaned, and there is no risk of human touch or droplets missed during the cleaning process.
What Are the Most Popular Disinfecting Robots?
While there are many different robots becoming available, there are two that have already been making their mark in the world.
UVD Robots is perhaps the most well-known manufacturer or UV disinfecting robots at this time. Based in Denmark, this manufacturer has already sent out hundreds of their robots to China and Europe, as well as a small number to the United States. Their robots can provide an extensive sanitization in only 10 minutes, and are typically used in hospitals. UVD Robots provide hospital staff with detailed statistics and reports on the efficiency of the cleaning immediately afterward.
A local San Antonio-based company, Xenex, has also been at the forefront of the disinfecting robot movement. Their LightStrike UV robots have been shipped to almost 70 Veterans Administration hospitals and 10 Department of Defense sites in the U.S., as well as other organizations around the world. Xenex’s robots come with a unique SureStrike technology that allows for extensive, touch-free disinfection, and their team of Rate Reduction Specialists work with customers to measure cleaning efficacy and report optimal HAI rate reduction results.
Do UV Disinfecting Robots Work?
As the market for disinfection robot grows, a frequently asked question is how well they work. Research shows that UV disinfection works to fight coronavirus, however, there are some instances when they are not the best option for sanitizing effectively.
As a recent Forbes article stated, UV light is a proven disinfectant. Coronavirus on a surface can be killed when exposed to UV light of sufficient intensity for an appropriate amount of time. These robots are superior to humans when it comes to holding a UV wand over a surface and moving it at the right speed, meticulously, consistently, without any mistakes. This can be done in a manner that a human would find pretty much impossible, but there are two major caveats.
Light Can’t Always Reach All Surfaces
First, the light has to shine on an object to disinfect it, reaching all sides and tops and bottom of the item. Pradeep Rajendran, a post-doctoral student at USC, has been working on these robots and testing how they can sanitize dorm rooms. In the forbes article, he is quoted as saying that “Every surface in the line of sight can be sanitized using this method. But dorms include hard to reach areas UV light won’t reach.” UV disinfecting robots don’t thoroughly sanitize any areas that are in a shadow or blocked from light.
No Lasting Protection
Second, these robots don’t provide any lasting protection. They can sanitize a surface like a counter or a handrail and then if coronavirus or another germ lands on that surface, there is nothing left behind to kill the virus or bacteria. This means that outside of a sterile environment like an operating room, UV disinfecting technology has less practical applications in contrast to spray disinfection which can have long-lasting effects.
Are Disinfection Robots Cost-Effective?
At this time, disinfecting robots are a hot commodity. They are becoming more and more popular as they are finding their way from hospitals and nursing homes to grocery stores and other businesses. This presents a problem for manufacturers, as these robots are already costly to research and build, and demand is currently much higher than supply. Sadly, high demand usually means high cost.
UV Robots can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase, and some may even require an additional monthly charge for general upkeep and technology updates, which can get into the thousands. In general, this means that UV disinfection robots are usually a no-go for most small businesses or organizations.
However, while disinfecting robots may be out of reach for your organization or business, there are other options for regular sanitization that can be much more cost-effective.
Disinfect with Regular, Professional Sanitizing Services
At Alpha Decon, we can provide professional and low-cost sanitizing services. Our unique electrostatic mist spray system provides full coverage disinfection, even in hard to reach places. And it continues working even after it has dried and our technician has left your business.
From grocery stores and schools to public venues and hospitality, we offer a variety of plans and highly effective chemicals to meet your needs. And best of all, our services won’t break the bank.
We’re here to help you fight back against the novel Coronavirus, 7 days a week. To schedule a one-time, weekly, or daily service, please contact us to create a plan.