US military rolls out 'corona-killing' robots to disinfect bases

US military set to use ‘corona-killing’ robots that disinfect surfaces in barracks and mess halls in just MINUTES

  • Makers of robotic military targets have turned them into corona-killing machines
  • The four-wheeled autonomous robots now have UV lights mounted on top
  • The lights can radiate nearly 110 watts of light to disinfect surfaces on bases
  • This eliminates the need of human staff spending an entire day doing the job 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The US military is set to use ‘corona-killing robots’ equip with ultraviolet light (UV) to disinfect enclosed spaces.

The four-wheeled autonomous robots would eliminate the need of human workers and complete the task in a matter of hours, instead of days.

The technology is capable of radiating nearly 110 watts using a vertical UV mount that disinfects a surface two feet away in just over a minute.

Although experts have not yet determined if UV kills the virus, the military said it is ’employing double the wattage known to kill other coronavirus variants to ensure effectiveness,’ Military.com reported.

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The four-wheeled autonomous robots would eliminate the need of human workers and complete the task in a matter of hours, instead of days. The technology is capable of radiating nearly 110 watts using a vertical UV mount that disinfects a surface two feet away in just over a minute

The coronavirus is spread from person to person, so disinfecting surfaces has become a key player in keeping the outbreak at bay.

At least 150 military bases across the US have been hit with the virus and more than 3,000 members of the armed forces have been infected.

Now, a firm is transforming target moving robots into corona-killing machines.

Ralph Petroff, president of the North America branch of Marathon Targets, told Military.com: ‘If you need them for target practice, you use them for target practice; if you need them for corona-killing, you use them for corona-killing.’

Petroff explained that the company purchased UV disinfecting panels earlier this month and it took just a few hours to add them to the robots, which are currently being tested on a military base.

Afirm is transforming target moving robots (pictured) into corona-killing machines. It takes just a little over one minute for the robot to clean a surface two feet away, while it can disinfect an area rive feet away in just six minutes and 30 seconds

It takes just a little over one minute for the robot to clean a surface two feet away, while it can disinfect an area rive feet away in just six minutes and 30 seconds.

Traditionally, military bases would use staff dressed in hazmat suits to do the job, which could be an all-day affair.

‘The UV part is the easy part,’ Petroff said.

‘Trying to get an autonomous robot to walk around without bumping into things and knowing where it is at all times is the hard part. We mastered that a long time ago.’

Although experts have not determined whether or not UV light kills coronavirus, a scientist at Columbia University in New York has been studying how to use it in order to prevent the spread of diseases.

Germicidal UV light is used in hospitals and medical centers to clean rooms and equipment, but it’s a health hazard to humans and can cause skin cancer and eye diseases.

At least 150 military bases across the US have been hit with the virus and more than 3,000 members of the armed forces have been infected 

But there is a special type of UV light called far-UVC light that kills microbes but is not dangerous.

Conventional germicidal UV light kills microbes but also penetrates the skin, raising the risk of various forms of skin cancer as well as cataracts.

A 2018 study published in Scientific Reports, Dr David Brenner, director of the school’s Center of Radiological Research shows that the light can kill more than 95 percent of viruses like the coronavirus.

That’s because the virus is covered with a thin membrane that is easily broken apart by UV rays.

Brenner’s team has since tested the light against two seasonal coronaviruses, and is now testing the strain responsible for the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2.

‘We saw we can kill 99 percent of the virus with a very low dose of far-UVC light,’ he told ABC News.

‘There’s no reason to believe it’s going to be different from these results.’

However, there is one hiccup. Far-UVC lamps have not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

If they are approved, Brenner told ABC News they could be used in any public places include modes of transport like airports and train stations, in addition to schools and hospitals.

 

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