Robotic Technology May Play a Key Role in Helping Combat COVID-19

A prototype of a robotic decontamination unit.

CEE Professor Qiang He and Assistant Professor Shuai Li are collaborating with Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) Professor Jindong Tan to develop an alternative means of disinfection and cleaning built environments, especially during the threat of a pandemic.

To address the challenge of disinfection, the team has developed an intelligent decontamination assistive robot (I-DEAR) to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. I-DEAR has already been tested in indoor environments and is currently in the second phase of research and development.

While cleaning and disinfection are the key to reducing the risk of being infected by pathogens and spreading infectious diseases, the cleaning and disinfection process is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and can undermine worker health. The disinfection process is particularly difficult during a pandemic outbreak of a disease.

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