One of the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic that robotics developers are trying to solve is the disinfection of large areas. Researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore today announced XDBOT, a semi-autonomous robot that they are readying for public trials.
Global demand for disinfection systems is at an all-time high because of the novel coronavirus. Local news reports said that human cleaners are working double shifts because of worker shortages.
The university began developing XDBOT in February, when COVID-19 cases started to rise worldwide and deep-cleaning efforts intensified at Changi Airport and local hotels and hospitals, stated Chen I-Ming, a professor at the NTU Robotics Research Center and leader of the project.
“To stop the transmission of a virus means we need a way to quickly disinfect surfaces, which is a labor-intensive and repetitive activity,” he explained. “Using our new robot from a distance, a human operator can precisely control the disinfection process, increasing surface area cleaned by up to four times, with zero contact with surfaces.”