Robot Violet, Trinity College Dublin, Source: Akara Robotics

Irish start-up develops robot capable of crushing coronavirus

Irish start-up develops robot capable of crushing coronavirus

The invention can prove to be much faster and more effective than chemical disinfectants

A start-up attached to Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is developing a robot that can prove crucial in the fight against coronavirus, reports The Irish Times. The device can kill viruses and bacteria through UV lights, which is key to the disinfection of spaces and surfaces.

A game-changer in Covid-19 fight

The invention is authored by Akara Robotics. They have been working on the technology for over a year. Dr Conor McGinn, its creator and assistant professor at TCD, explains that the ultraviolet light that it emits is capable of cleaning viruses, bacteria and germs much faster than conventional cleaning methods, which can take up to 5 hours to achieve their task. Unlike them, the UV-based solution can do the same thing in considerably less time and does not require the spreading of chemicals.

What is more, the scientist points out, the Robot Violet can prove more effective than chemical-based disinfection solutions. The latter usually require the spaces to be evacuated for several hours, which is not practical and even impossible for some parts of hospitals, like waiting rooms and halls. In addition, not all high-tech equipment can be cleaned using deep chemicals.

A solution in the making

The device has already entered the Covid-19 fight, albeit only in a testing phase. After Dr McGinn contacted Ireland’s Health Services (HSE) and indicated that his invention might be effective in the fight against the coronavirus, it has been put to the test. Microbiological tests are being awaited in order to confirm whether this is really the case.

“We have seen it is quite effective against bacteria. That means it is going to be very effective against the virus. And the literature is out there, we have seen this already during SARS, and MERS outbreaks. They used UV to sterilize surfaces”, said Dr Michael Beckett, Department of Microbiology at Trinity College for The Irish Times.



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