Robots Enlisted To Enhance Cleaning To Prevent Infections

By By Dan Hounsell
April 15, 2021

Many efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in healthcare facilities have focused on improving the operation of HVAC systems. But some researchers also are going back to the very first infection control efforts by facility managers — cleaning and sanitization.

Since October 2020, researchers at Europe’s largest organization for applied research and development services have been working on a high-level project aimed at using robotics technologies to prevent the spread of infection in clinical settings, according to Health Europa.

The goal of the Mobile Disinfection research project is to minimize the spread of infection, whether it is the coronavirus or other harmful germs or bacteria. One way to do this is by regularly disinfecting surfaces that many people touch, such as light switches, elevator buttons or door handles. In order to develop a robot that can take care of these disinfection tasks autonomously, 12 institutions are pooling their expertise in the project.

Two service robots will be developed that make it possible to disinfect potentially contaminated surfaces in buildings and means of transportation as needed. Using robots can reduce the risk of infection among cleaning staff and ensure that cleaning is carried out reliably and traceably. Because robots can perform continuous cleaning and disinfection operations, cleaning can be carried out more frequently and consistently than with manual operation.

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Topic Area: Infection Control

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