Akara [Robotics] has focused on making Violet portable and compact enough to be able to operate in tight, crowded spaces that are otherwise hard to clean: bathrooms, waiting areas, the nooks and crannies of public transit. It also has a protective shield around the back of the light, and motion-detecting sensors so that people don’t have to vacate the area while it’s at work.
With support from Ireland’s HSE, the Violet team recently tested the robot at Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, about 60 miles west of Dublin. They conducted tests in a room with a CT scanner, one that would be reserved for COVID-19 patients in need of chest scans if and when the hospital sees an influx of patients. It typically takes a radiographer 15 minutes to clean the room with disinfectant wipes and then another 30 to 60 minutes for the chemicals to dry and any airborne germs to dissipate, meaning that the room can only handle about one patient an hour. In tests, a Violet robot has been able to get the job done in 15 minutes, a fourfold increase in turnaround time.