Promobot debuts disinfecting robot for COVID-19 pandemic
Promobot, which promotes itself as the largest service robotics company in Europe, has just unveiled a new disinfecting robot as one of the company’s solutions designed to stop the spread of coronavirus. The new robot, a reworked version of the company’s Scorpion platform, can disinfect an area of 3000 m² (32,000 ft²) and operate for up to 6 h nonstop.
The company says it developed the robot, which is made in Pennsylvania, in response to recent reports, such as one from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ NIH (National Institutes of Health) at https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces, that show that the new coronavirus can remain active for several hours in the air and up to three days on various surfaces. Some disinfecting processes are commonly carried out by heavy equipment that cannot reach certain areas, from wide city streets to residential areas. Local disinfecting can be performed by people, but that puts them at risk of transmitting the virus further on themselves.
“With new challenges in mind, we reworked our universal mobile platform, called Scorpion, so that it can perform outdoor disinfection,” said Oleg Kivokurtsev, Promobot CBDO. “We kept all of the main features: it can climb obstacles, work autonomously, integrate with security systems, and perform surveillance. In addition to that, it can now disinfect large open areas—up to 3000 m² of territory. Now the person that performs disinfection can do so remotely from a safe location. This allows us to eliminate the human factor and protect people from carrying and contracting the virus directly.”
Scorpion is equipped with a disinfectant storage container and can spray 15 L (4 gal) of disinfectant up to a 5-m (16.4-ft) radius. The robot can be remotely controlled via 3G/LTE networks, or can (optionally) work autonomously using ultrasonic sensors and GPS, at up to 10 km/h (6 mph), and can overcome various obstacles such as stairs and curbs and slopes of more than 25 degrees. It measures 960 x 930 x 1200 mm (37.8 x 36.6 x 47.2 in) and has a mass of 130 kg (285 lb). The platform, which can also provide video surveillance, allows up to 15 different robots to be controlled at the same time by one operator.
Promobot is in discussions with companies and transportation hubs to implement the new solution. It says that the robot can be used at malls, office buildings, schools/universities, hospitals, metro stations, parks, and forests. Another version of Scorpion for security purposes, revealed in February, is designed for outdoor surveillance and can even restrict intruders using various equipment, from a net gun to UAV.
In addition to the disinfection robot debut, Promobot presented its Thermocontrol autonomous screening terminals and the new version of its Promobot V.4 with medical assessor functionality. Both can measure body temperature, as well as other measurements, and conduct a survey on the initial symptoms of diseases caused by COVID-19.