This project was funded from the ARM Institute’s COVID-19 focused Technology Project Call completed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense.
The ARM Institute rapidly responded to the Department of Defense’s need to address COVID-19 by forming numerous national teams, drawing from diverse industries and technologies to address the myriad of supply chain shortages. This is highlighted by a few of the key statistics listed below:
- Rapid contracting with 45 days from the Project Call release to project start
- Projects executed in 12 months
- 13 states and Puerto Rico engaged
- 23 unique organizations participated across the nine projects
Objective of Implementing Disinfection Robots
The COVID-19 pandemic created new concerns about shared spaces like military bases, classrooms, and warehouses. This project leveraged a commonly used solution in Europe and to scale its use in the U.S., creating a tailor-made disinfection robot solution to minimize infection risks in humans.
Technical Approach to Disinfection Robot Implementation
Schools, offices, military bases, and manufacturing floors need to be disinfected between shifts to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The Decon–X (DX1) disinfecting system has proven its effectiveness in Europe, but currently lacks the mobility and autonomy to disinfect spaces without an operator. An automated disinfection robot solution is required to ensure workers return to a COVID-free environment each day. This project aimed to add mobile autonomous capabilities to the DX1 room disinfection robot system to automate the consecutive treatment of multiple rooms and spaces within workplaces. The addition of mobility and autonomous navigation to the DX1 enables the robot to move from room to room and perform a series of treatments with little to no human intervention.
Impact of Disinfection Robots
The system saw a 27.2% reduction in human work when using the same number of systems as baseline, limiting human exposure to infection.
When using the same amount of human involvement as the baseline, the system resulted in a 19.3% increase in the area disinfected and a 28% improvement in human utilization.
Principal Investigator: QinetiQ North America
Project Team: MassRobotics