Thai university develops robotic Covid-19 disinfection lamp
A Thai university has developed a robotic Covid-19 disinfection lamp which they claim could help to control the surge of infections in the country.
Researchers from the Chulalongkorn University built the ‘robot lamp’ they named Nong Fai Chai which reportedly can kill up to 99.99 per cent of coronavirus in under three minutes.
Nong Fai Chai – with its vertical long lamp which was the same height as a human – is equipped with wheels for mobility and can be controlled remotely using the internet or a 4G network.
It has been designed to disinfect indoor areas, particularly hospitals, while reducing contact between health workers and patients in medical facilities.
Environmental Engineering Faculty member Dr Janeyuk Lowatcharin said: ‘The challenge of this innovation is to create a device that can be used to disinfect the room when no one is operating it.
‘The concentration of UV-C rays that hit the surface is important for disinfection. The more intense the radiation, the less time it takes. If the concentration is less, it takes more time.’
The robot was designed with the help of robotics engineer Adisak Duangkaew who is a two-times World Rescue Robot Champion from King Mongkut’s University of Technology North and Smile Robotics company.
Their colleague, Professor Dr Somrat Jarulaksananan from the Faculty of Medicine, said: ‘During the first wave of the pandemic, hospital staff were at risk, so if there is a way to prevent infection and ensure staff safety, we won’t hesitate to do it. It is very important to create a sterile workplace environment.’
The robot’s prototypes have already been sent to hospitals across the country to disinfect medical facilities mainly in delivery rooms of the obstetrics and gynaecology department but they plan to expand the roll-out.
Thailand has recorded 1,294,522 cases and 13,042 deaths as of September 6. Ministers believe the wave of Delta variant infections which started up May – reaching 23,000 a day earlier this month – has peaked but some doctors still predict up to 400,000 more cases while the daily rate slows.