This coronavirus-killing robot may start working nights in your local supermarket

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory worked with Ava Robotics — a company that focuses on creating telepresence robots — and the Greater Boston Food Bank to develop a robot that uses a custom UV-C light to disinfect surfaces and neutralize aerosolized forms of the coronavirus…

While household cleaning solutions are able to reduce the spread of the virus, an autonomous robot capable of quickly and efficiently cleaning large areas such as warehouses or grocery stores could prove to be essential. The researchers used the base of one of Ava Robotics’ mobile robots and modified it with a custom UV-C light fixture.

UV-C light has proven effective at killing bacteria and viruses on surfaces, the researchers said. However, it is harmful to humans. The robot was built to be autonomous without the need for any direct supervision or interaction.

The robot sanitized a 4000 square foot warehouse in a half-hour.