Weston Robot engineering team developed three mobile robots to combat with COVID-19 for disinfection and temperature screening in Singapore on 17 April, 2020.
The first mobile robot, co-developed with AgileX in Dongguan, is used for disinfection in open areas, such as airport, carpark, and shopping malls. It has three different control modes: with a remote controller; with wireless HD video transmissions; and with 4G/LTE network. All 3 methods remove the trouble of having workers carrying around disinfection equipment and chemicals, while teleoperations through 4G/LTE network even removes the need for physical presences of workers to reduce the risk of being infected. The robot could run continuously for about two hours per battery cycle and cover up to 10,000 square meter. The tank holds up to 30L chemical material.
Video: Mobile Disinsection Robot in Action
The second disinfection robot is used to work in enclosed places such as MRT (subway), dormitory, toilet while not in use. In this cases, chemical spraying is not feasible, and autopilot is required for the robot to move from one room to another. By putting a UV light, and autonomous navigation module on the robot, the robot can move from one room to autonomously. The users can do the mapping on a cell phone and choose the way points. The robot will follow the way points and stops at each way point till the disinfection job is done. It can also automatically return to the charging station once the battery is below a threshold.
Autonomous Disinfection Robot using UV Light
The third robot is used to detect individuals with abnormal body temperature, where temperature screening is not easy at places like university cafeterias, shopping malls, airport departure and arrival halls, etc,. It is equipped with an infrared thermal camera which has an accuracy of +/- 0.5 degree. It can detect multiple persons and issue voice and visual alarm once a person is identified with abnormal temperature. Weston Robot engineers also made some cup holders to provide sanitizer and tissue papers to people. This robot uses the same base as the second one, thus it could perform autonavigation, follow way points, and get back to the charging station.
Autonomous Temperature Screening Robot using Infrared Camera
“Weston Robot is the first group of robotics companies developing robots to combat COVID-19, ” told by Dr. Zhang Yanliang, the managing director and chief scientist at Weston Robot. “Back to January 2020, when COVID-19 was first proven to be infectious among humans, the team spent less than 10 days to come up with the first sanitizing robot prototype, to demonstrate the feasibility of using robots, and many robotics companies followed.” “Advanced tools and workflows such as Model-Based Design from MathWorks, especially Stateflow, Robotics System Toolbox and Coder products are widely used to accelerate the pace of robot prototyping.” added by Dr. Zhang.
Video: Channel News Asia Reporting Weston Robot on Sanitizing Robot