Is COVID-19 ready for RoboMop?
With a line of janitorial robots already commercialized and scrubbing floors three years ago, SFU VentureLabs company, A&K Robotics Inc. had turned its intention to developing a disinfecting prototype robot.
“The problem was back in 2017, nobody wanted to pay for a robot that would clean what’s invisible to us,” recalled Matt Anderson, CEO and co-founder of the Vancouver-based robotics firm. “So we shelved it, and it’s basically been collecting dust ever since.”
But the COVID-19 crisis upended that, prompting the company to revive the prototype known as AMRUD with financial backing from the Ontario-based Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster.
“We’ve had this shift recently from cleaning for visual appearance to cleaning for public health,” Anderson said. “Now as a result of that, people understand the importance of disinfecting, especially in health-care environments.”
Equipped with wheels and a robotic arm, AMRUD is essentially a miniature self-driving vehicle that disinfects using low-powered UV lights capable of getting within centimetres of surfaces to clean them….