MIT-designed robot can disinfect a warehouse floor in 30 minutes — and could one day be employed in grocery stores and schools

This coronavirus-killing MIT robot could end up in your local supermarket

(CNN)MIT has designed a robot that is capable of disinfecting the floor of a 4,000-square foot warehouse in only half an hour, and it could one day be used to clean your local grocery store or school.

The university’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) worked with Ava Robotics — a company that focuses on creating telepresence robots — and the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) to develop a robot that uses a custom UV-C light to disinfect surfaces and neutralize aerosolized forms of the coronavirus.

Development on this project began in early April, and one of the researchers said that it came in direct response to the pandemic. The results have been encouraging enough that the researchers say that autonomous UV disinfection could be done in other environments such as supermarkets, factories and restaurants.

Covid-19 mainly spreads via airborne transmission, and it is capable of remaining on surfaces for several days. With states across the US reporting a surge in cases and no concrete timetable for a possible vaccine, there is currently no near-term end to the pandemic. That leaves schools and supermarkets looking for solutions to effectively disinfect areas.

Continue reading… “MIT-designed robot can disinfect a warehouse floor in 30 minutes — and could one day be employed in grocery stores and schools”

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The most intimate areas of your vacation will be deep-cleaned by a freaky robot

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Hotels, planes, and restaurants want your dollars back. Here are some of their plans to make it safe.

It’s something we look forward to all year: summer vacation. This time-honored tradition is an opportunity to get away from the stress of our daily lives and see new places, dip our toes in cool waters, or simply tune out the rest of the world for a few days. But this year, the continuing threat of Covid-19 has thrown that grand tradition for a loop, threatening to cancel it like a pool with bad pH levels.

And it’s not just wannabe-tourists who are suffering the loss of their vacations. As a result of Covid-19, 4 million people in the hospitality industry have lost their jobs. More than $21 billion in revenue has also been lost.

The question of “Is it safe to travel this summer?” is on the minds of many, and while there isn’t a clear answer yet, freaky googly-eyed robots are here to help us whenever we arrive.

Continue reading… “The most intimate areas of your vacation will be deep-cleaned by a freaky robot”

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