The ever-looming shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to drastically redefine cleanliness, health, and safety standards. More so than ever before, maintaining disinfected surfaces through rigorous cleaning processes has been crucial to keeping everyone safe.
Robotics and automation have been natural solutions to such projects in order to reduce human exposure and improve efficiency or productivity without jeopardizing safety. In a fight against the spread of COVID-19, Prescientx revealed Violet, a fully autonomous disinfection robot, using a Clearpath Boxer as its mobile base.
Prescientx is an innovative leader in Engineered Infection Prevention, creating intelligent safe spaces. As well, they are known for distributing safe space devices and products such as UVC air disinfectors, ozonated sinks, and air quality monitors. As their name suggests, their goals focus on predicting and anticipating events before they take place. In other words, they expertly respond to modern crises, providing robotic solutions to ensure a safer, healthier, and more productive future.
The Dire Need for New Definitions of Clean
Every year, 1 in 10 Canadian inpatients will acquire a hospital-acquired infection, and 1 in 20 of those will die from their infection. Regular cleaning methods are not effective enough in removing all pathogens that can cause infections. When paired with other prevention measures already in place, engineered infection prevention is the final step to prevent transmission.
The ultimate ambitious purpose of Violet is to provide autonomous UVC (ultra-violet light) disinfection. Unlike other UVC robots, no operator is required to run Violet as it is programmed and will run autonomously 24 hours a day. When its battery power runs low, it will return to the base, self-charge, and be ready for the next round of disinfecting. Programmed to get extra close to walls and furniture, its three banks of independently controlled UVC lights quickly deliver a strong targeted dose of UVC.
With 360-degree machine vision, multiple sensors, and intelligent navigation, Violet moves quickly, efficiently, and safely through any environment.
“The integration to Boxer was seamless for us. Clearpath worked hard to create an end product that we can easily connect to – electrically and virtually, to build Violet.”
– Product Development Manager, Meghann Gibson
Boxer Mobile Platform Fast Tracks Development
A crucial step in the development of Violet, however, was that Prescientx utilized the indoor robotic platform Boxer to make the UVC disinfection autonomous. Adapted from the OTTO Motors OTTO 100 SDV, Boxer is an industrial-grade mobile robot that’s programmable and easily extensible with additional hardware. By leveraging Clearpath’s expertise and development in autonomous systems, the Prescientx team was able to concentrate on doing what they do best – safely disinfect surfaces. This key partnership is what enabled an industry-leading UVC disinfection robot that is able to autonomously and consistently disinfect a variety of different environments.
By partnering with a fellow local Canadian company, the team was able to collaborate easier and develop their end product faster. They knew Clearpath Robotics was a great fit due to our collaborative focus to enable robotics projects, as well as the flexible and reliable features of our robotic platforms. As Product Development Manager, Meghann Gibson said: “The integration to Boxer was seamless for us. Clearpath worked hard to create an end product that we can easily connect to – electrically and virtually, to build Violet.” Ultimately, developing a robotic platform from the ground up is both time and resource-consuming, which would have cost Violet functionality to stay on the same timeline.
Boxer provided a unique and convenient solution with a new UI that was easy to set up, navigate and use, as well as a jointly created integrated battery system to allow us to leverage their rapid charging system so Violet can maximize her disinfecting time.
As well, Boxer’s extensible design allowed Prescientx to easily integrate payloads, such as an integrated camera system for persona recognition and depth mapping, PIR sensors for monitoring surroundings, UVC lights, and a central computing system.
The team behind Violet included Meghann Gibson (Product Development Manager), Jim Streeter (Product Engineer), Travis Clarke (Product Engineer), Fahad Moiz (Electronics Designer), Divij Patel (Robotics Programmer), and Praveen Reddy (Robotics Programmer).
To learn more about Violet, visit Prescientx’s website here.
To learn more about Boxer, visit our website here.