Researchers from the Center for Integrated Manufacturing and Technology (SENAI CIMATEC) in Salvador, Brazil, have developed a Warthog-based robot to support the fight against COVID-19. Their idea: adding a disinfection system that sprays sodium hypochlorite on surfaces, as well as a germicidal lamp that provides disinfecting ultraviolet C (UVC) light, to Warthog UGV.

Building the Disinfecting Robot

With the rise of COVID-19, the CIMATEC team wanted to help however they could. 

To achieve their goal of building an autonomous disinfecting robot, they equipped Warthog UGV with a Novatel GPS, a RGB camera, and a 3D lidar sensor, so the robot can navigate city streets safely. For the sodium hypochlorite dilution spray system, they used fast connection and DC pumps to pressurize the disinfectant spray.

With the disinfectant sprinkler system successfully in place, the next step is to integrate the UVC lamps. The team is currently demoing Warthog UGV on the streets of their SENAI CIMATEC campus, Salvador, while continuing to test different UVC germicidal lamp implementations in Gazebo simulation software. 

“We had heard of Clearpath before and always thought they sounded like a reputable and reliable company, so we took a chance on acquiring Warthog UGV and the result was excellent.” – Marco Reis, Team lead

Why they chose Warthog

The researchers needed a mobile platform that would be reliable enough for use in many large cities in Brazil, and robust enough to support the added equipment and components. They found both these qualities in Warthog UGV.

“In Brazil, we do not have local companies capable of providing robots with high performance and reliability, so we had to look internationally,” said Marco Reis, team lead. “We had heard of Clearpath before and always thought they sounded like a reputable and reliable company, so we took a chance on acquiring Warthog UGV and the result was excellent.”

The main reasons the researchers were so thrilled with Warthog UGV are its overall robustness, and the fact that the hardware and software are easy to integrate and operate reliably for long periods of time. These Warthog UGV features helped the researchers speed up their development time,  implement new ideas, and come up with a proof-of-concept faster than before. 

Where to see the Disinfecting Robot in Action

The disinfectant-sprinkler Warthog is currently roaming the SENAI CIMATEC campus in Salvador, Brazil, spraying down surfaces in attempts to curb the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the team has shifted their focus to implementing and testing the UVC lamps, and is now simulating tests in Gazebo.

 

 

Click here to learn more about Warthog UGV.

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