Advanced Intelligent Systems (AIS), a Canadian custom robotics engineering firm, has launched an ultraviolet light robot to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses in healthcare facilities and combat the spread of infectious diseases in public spaces.
The development was made possible by a grant from Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen).
Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen, says: “At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, NGen rallied industry leaders from across the country to help build a domestic supply of critical equipment. Support for organizations like AIS enabled the rapid development of viable disinfecting solutions and demonstrates the diverse manufacturing and technology capabilities that exist here in Canada.”
Afshin Doust, CEO, AIS, says: “NGen’s support was instrumental: indeed, the future of our country’s economy relies on our capacity to be a world leader in developing and commercializing scientific and technological innovations. We must be innovators.”
AIS received $975,000 in July 2020 from NGen, to develop the made-in-Canada mobile robot. The Grant represents 50 per cent of the total project cost which was $1.95 million.
The pandemic required AIS to work quickly, and using its modular approach to robotics, AIS was able to repurpose its agriculture-focused robot and software products to create Orion, an autonomous UV robot for hands-free cleaning and disinfection using ultraviolet light, in less than two months.
Orion eliminates harmful viruses and bacteria to reduce hospital acquired infections and healthcare associated infections in public spaces such as hotels, shopping malls and airports.
The robot can map large-scale environments to navigate to interest points, and perform crucial disinfection tasks using ultraviolet light technology to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
Orion is currently being piloted at an international hotel chain with locations in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland. Soon to be deployed commercially, Orion will also help provide critical support to hospitals, senior care facilities and health care workers dealing with health, safety and resource issues during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are very excited to have been able to so quickly develop an alternative to manual cleaning. Our hands-free mobile robot destroys harmful bacteria and viruses, which is so critical now as there is great need for hands-free disinfection to ensure customer safety and confidence, and to manage operational budgets,” says Doust.
One of AIS’ advantages which allows the company to deploy its UV disinfection robot in numerous industries – is its modular design. AIS has a variety of modules that are interoperable and exchangeable, and enable greater flexibility for robotics consumers.
This is especially key now that there are a number of industries that require a hands-free robotic solution for disinfection of patient rooms and public spaces, and to attract patrons back into hotel common areas and rooms.