UBTECH introduces their new ADIBOT UV disinfection products today at CES2021. The ADIBOT solution is designed to deliver hospital-grade facility disinfection using UV-C light to inactivate the COVID-19 virus along with other harmful bacteria and viruses. UV-C light is a well proven and viable technology to disinfect surfaces and has been used for more than 3 decades in hospitals around the world. What's new in the latest generation of UV light solutions is the autonomous delivery of the light source to specific points in a room and the autonomous management and operation of the proper light dosage to disinfect any room configuration.
“UBTECH’s mission is, to make everyday life easier for people now and into the future. As a result, we’re addressing today’s challenges with tomorrow’s technology,” said John Rhee, senior vice president and general manager, UBTECH North America. “This year’s CES offerings not only look to the future of robotics with our AMR offerings, but also focus on immediate and critical needs. Our ADIBOT UV-C Robots stand to accelerate the safe reopening of schools and businesses shut down by COVID-19, while helping better prepare for potential future outbreaks—from pandemic level down to more localized, harmful viruses.”
UBTECH is introducing two models at CES2021, each designed for the needs of a specific customer segment. The lower cost, manual/stationary version of the product requires that the operator manually position the device in a room, plug in the device to an electrical outlet and then initiate the disinfection process. This version includes sensors that can detect the presence of humans entering the working envelope of the device and immediately shutdown the UV light source. UV light is harmful to humans, so this capability is necessary to prevent unintended exposure to employees or anyone else who might encounter the device during its operation.
The fully autonomous version of the ADIBOT product is built on top of an autonomous mobile robot base, borrowed from the UBTECH CRUZR robot system. This version of the product is 100% battery powered and can autonomously move the UV light source into a room and initiate the disinfection process without human interaction. Like its stationary sibling, the autonomous ADIBOT includes onboard sensors to detect the presence of any humans who might enter the workspace during operation.
According to Rhee, "With the current methods of disinfecting, namely chemical disinfectants, a gallon of germicide will run about $35 to $45. If you talk to either a small business or a large enterprise, and you ask them how much money they have spent in operating expenses and supplies to disinfect their environments, this can be expensive. And this is done with labor and that comes with human error - things not being wiped down properly. Chemical disinfectants have dwell times that mean wiping a surface sometimes is insufficient. Some chemical disinfectants have to be on a surface for 10 minutes. It's a costly and time-consuming thing currently. You hear the constraints with the cities, state governments and schools - they just don't have the budget to clean properly."
Rhee also believes that the devices will be useful long after the current COVID-19 pandemic is contained. Disinfection will be an ongoing process for facility managers to contain the seasonal flu and generally provide safer facilities for employees, visitors, students or the general public as they use a facility day to day.
Both devices can connect directly via WiFi to a tablet or cellphone for operator control. Another novel feature of the solution is that it includes an instrumented "safety gate" that can be placed in front of the room door by a human operator. The gate includes active sensors that detect motion and can alert the nearby ADIBOT device that the gate is being moved. This provides an extra measure of safety and an early alert to the ADIBOT of the approach of a human.
Pricing for the solution is designed to be more affordable than other competing solutions already on the market. The price for the manual/stationary version of the ADIBOT is $15/day on a lease contract, or a list price of $20,000. The price of the autonomous version of ADIBOT is $35 per day on a lease contract, or a list price of $40,000. UBTECH expects to leverage their existing sales channels in education to help promote, sell and support this solution in the field. They are also developing their enterprise sales channel in North America with the launch, and plan to roll it out worldwide in 2021.
For more information on UBTECH and its family of robots, visit www.ubtrobot.com.
You can also listen to The Mobile Robot Podcast this week, where host Mike Oitzman interviews UBTECH America's GM, John Rhee.