UltraViolet Devices Inc. partnered with Badger Technologies to equip the Badger UV Disinfect robot with its advanced UV-C technology to create an autonomous disinfecting robot designed to combat COVID-19 and high-risk pathogens commonly found in grocery, food-service and retail environments.
“We partnered with them to develop a UV robot that can come to life at the end of the shift when everyone goes home, can take a couple hours and do a normal-sized grocery store, meaning go up and down all the aisles, dosing all of the key areas that we’re going to be back in that store the next day touching and looking at,” said Peter Veloz, CEO of UVDI. “And we’re able to bring that disinfection through an autonomous robot now to grocery stores so we’re really quite excited about what this can mean.”
Early testing of the new robot with UVDI’s 254nm UV-C technology indicates 99% and greater inactivation of coronaviruses, E.coli, salmonella enterica and influenza A, with 40,000 square feet of decontamination in approximately two hours.
“UV leaves no residue, it’s chemical-free and you’re able to immediately start using the store more safely the next day, so we’ll see where it goes, but we’re excited to be on sort of the cutting edge of this,” Veloz added.
Badger has previously been successful in deploying autonomous robots in stores across the U.S. and internationally to scan shelves for stocking issues and prices.
This proven technology is deployed by UVDI in its own UVDI-360 Room Sanitizer robot, which is used by more than 1,000 hospitals in more than 25 countries to limit health-care-associated infections and achieves greater than 99.99% inactivation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus strain that causes COVID-19, within five minutes, according to clinical studies.
Now, the technology is expected to allow the Badger UV Disinfect robot to rapidly disinfect typical store spaces, including shelves, aisles and checkout areas.
“Disinfecting retail stores is an ideal job for our robots as they can navigate aisles effortlessly,” Tim Rowland, CEO of Badger, said in a prepared statement. “We’re pleased to work with UVDI to help grocers and retailers quickly address COVID-19 contamination concerns while supporting long-term strategies for more effective infection prevention in retail environments.”
The companies are set to conduct micro-efficacy testing and in-store pilots of the Badger UV Disinfect robot.
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UV disinfection is a newer technology that requires specific care to operate, such as climate control.