Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.00 5 Dec 2020


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Cleaning a hospital is about to get a whole lot faster and easier, thanks to an Irish company.

Violet looks set to revolutionise healthcare, as her ultraviolet lights kill viruses, bacteria and harmful germs.

The robot leverages more than 12 months research in UV light disinfection technology, conducted at Trinity College Dublin.

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While the Health Service Executive (HSE) has fast-tracked its development.

Violet can also greatly reduce dependency on the use of chemical-based solutions.

Conor McGinn is the CEO of Akara Robotics.

He told Down to Business the robot can clean as work continues.

"We've designed it in such a way that we can deploy it very rapidly in hospitals, but equally other parts of the economy that need to be hygienic and clean".

"We felt that this technology had a lot of offer - and when we spoke to people in the HSE, and also hospitals, they said that frontline services were being especially affected.

"Now cleaning had to take place that didn't have to take place before in these settings".

He said this meant there were long delays after each patient, due to the cleaning process.

"We tried to find a way in which we could clean with a robot so there'd be a person in the room alongside the robot, and we - overtime - have managed to work with those frontline staff to get that time back in line to what it was before COVID".

But Mr McGinn said this potential is not limited to healthcare, with a large amount of interest coming from aviation, shipping and even hotels.

On the cost, he said it could be between €2,500 to €5,000 monthly - but they are working with sectors on a benchmarking system.

"What we're trying to do is offer this as a service whereby we can negotiate exactly what the robot or what the system can provide - and the hospitals then can benchmark that against what the equivalent cost with a person would be."

violet robot Violet at work. Picture by: Akara Robotics

"But equally something like this really empowers the frontline workers: it keeps them out of harms way, and it helps stop them not being sick" [sic].

"If you look at the potential return on investment here, each year 30,000 people get an infection when they're in hospitals."

"This thing will break even if you save just three infections".

He added that this part of society is long overdue for a change.

"Cleaning methods fundamentally haven't changed since the Spanish Flu pandemic - that's 100 years ago.

"Think of the parts of society where we really need technology that's good and this is it".

Violet's 'brother' Stevie has already hit the headlines, making the cover of 'Time' magazine back in October last year.

Meet Violet: The Irish robot which could revolutionise hospital cleaning

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

  

Main image: Picture by: Akara Robotics

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