This story originally appeared on The Robot Report
UVD Robots announces the deployment of the largest fleet of UVD disinfection robots to a school district in the USA. UVD robot have been selected by the Gallup McKinley County Schools (GMCS) in New Mexico to supply 37 of its robots to 34 schools, two administrative buildings and one warehouse to help fight against the Coronavirus and other infectious diseases.
”COVID has taken an extraordinary toll on our community. The safety of our students and staff and developing a plan to bring them all back to school as quickly and safely as possible is our primary concern,” said Gallup McKinley Superintendent Michael Hyatt. “We wanted a larger, longer-term disinfection solution, adding a layer of protection that would disinfect the surfaces and the air in our buildings and help fight COVID, colds, flu and infectious diseases for years to come.”
The UVD Robots disinfection solution uses UV-C light to disinfect an area such as a classroom, lunch room or gymnasium. UV-C light has a long, proven track record for disinfecting medical tools and surgical equipment. UVD Robots was one of the first companies to put a UV-C light source on top of an autonomous mobile robot (AMR). An AMR can navigate throughout a facility on its own and record its operations. In this use case, the UVD disinfection solution can be set to move throughout the school facility after hours to disinfect all of the areas, preparing the facility for the return of staff and students the next day.
The AMR can also work during school hours to disinfect a classroom, the gym or the lunch room before a meeting or after students have used the room. UV-C light kills or deactivates microbes and viruses by destroying their DNA. It is also dangerous to human skin, so humans can’t be present during a disinfection cycle. The UVD solution uses sensors to ensure that no human enters the work area during the use of the UV-C light. If the robot senses a human, it will sound an alert and turn off the UV-C light source. The following (time-lapse) video shows the UVD solution in operation at the GMCS facility.
UVD Robots will help the students return safely to the classroom
GMCS is one of the largest geographical school districts in New Mexico, covering a community with many rural areas facing infrastructure issues that make virtual learning a challenge for numerous students; many experience internet connection issues and approximately 1,500 students have no internet at home. The district also educates many special education students who learn better in the classroom, making a quick return to school of the utmost importance.
“Unlike stationary disinfection robots, the UVD Robot is a mobile, fully autonomous robot. It integrates UV-C light to disinfect against viruses and bacteria on surfaces and the air, killing 99.99 percent of bacteria and microorganisms within approximately 10 minutes in every room it disinfects,” said Claus Risager, CEO at Blue Ocean Robotics. The company was recently included on Fast Company’s Top 10 of ‘Most Innovative Robotics Companies 2021.’
”We selected UVD Robots after a rigorous review process of numerous disinfecting robots,” said Hyatt. “UVD Robots delivered on all of our needs and requirements of importance for our district including technical excellence, maturity and track record, quality of approach in deployment, response time in technical support and maintenance, and overall value.”
“We are excited to announce, what we believe is the largest deployment of autonomous disinfection robots in any school district in the country,” said Per Juul Nielsen, CEO at UVD Robots. “The autonomous UV light is a highly effective, chemical free method that disinfects the air and reaches all surfaces in a room, saving considerable labor through continuously repositioning versus stationary UV disinfection methods. We are honored to be working with GMCS to go beyond COVID and bring hospital grade disinfection to the school district.”
Students name their robot
Students from GMCS’ Twin Lakes School participated in a naming contest for the robot to help with socialization and morale. Three finalists were selected and the winner was announced. The school’s robot will now be known as Mr. Fox.
UVD Robots were originally developed to fight Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI’s) and are now deployed in the U.S. in educational campuses and facilities, the healthcare sector, airports, hotels, sports complexes, railways, shopping malls, food companies, cruise ships, pharmaceutical companies, and office complexes. UVDRobots even helped disinfect One Buc Place, the facility of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winners of the 2020 Super Bowl. UVD Robots are in more than 60 countries worldwide, meeting new and heightened expectations for safety and cleanliness.