UVC and far-UVC light disinfection ground robot design for sterilizing the coronavirus on vertical surfaces

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Department of Applied Computing


With the global coronavirus pandemic still persisting, the repeated disinfection of large spaces and small rooms has become a priority and matter of focus for researchers and developers. The use of ultraviolet light (UV) for disinfection is not new; however, there are new efforts to make the methods safer, more thorough, and automated. Indeed, continuous very low dose-rate far-UVC light in indoor public locations is a promising, safe and inexpensive tool to reduce the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases. This paper investigates the problem of disinfecting surfaces using autonomous mobile robots equipped with UV light towers. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of our autonomous disinfection framework, we also present a teleoperated robotic prototype. It consists of a robotic rover unit base, on which two separate UV light towers carrying 254 nm UVC and 222 nm far-UVC lights are mounted. It also includes a live-feed camera for remote operation, as well as power and communication electronics for the remote operation of the UV lamps. The 222 nm far-UVC light has been recently shown to be non-inflammatory and non-photo carcinogenic when radiated on mammalian skin, while still sterilizing the coronavirus on irradiated surfaces. With far-UVC light, disinfection robots may no longer require the evacuation of spaces to be disinfected. The robot demonstrates promising disinfection performance and potential for future autonomous applications.

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© (2022) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.

Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE 12115, Autonomous Systems: Sensors, Processing and Security for Ground, Air, Sea and Space Vehicles and Infrastructure 2022