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CSAIL Robot Disinfects Greater Boston Food Bank

By MIT News

June 29, 2020

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A group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Ava Robotics, and the Greater Boston Food Bank designed a robotic system that disinfects surfaces and neutralizes aerosolized forms of Covid-19.

The system utilizes a custom ultraviolet C (UV-C) light fixture from CSAIL, combined with Ava Robotics' mobile robot base, to kill viruses and bacteria on surfaces and in the air.

The UV-C array replaces the robot’s telepresence component, since it requires no human supervision, and kills microorganisms and disrupts their DNA.

The robot also can map its surroundings and navigate between waypoints and other specified areas.

CSAIL's Daniela Rus said this research "has highlighted several algorithmic challenges," adding that the research team will "tackle these in order to extend the scope of autonomous UV disinfection in complex spaces, including dorms, schools, airplanes, and grocery stores."

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