As the world is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic organisations are faced with the challenge of resuming their function in the safest way possible. Many individuals and groups are scared to use public/commercial spaces and services as the hidden killer could be anywhere. Currently the only widely accepted method for determining if a virus exists in an environment is via swabbing techniques, which are impractical, costly and do not provide real-time information. The best approach is to clean and disinfect an environment to a validated standard and effectively communicate this information to all space users. There is a need for:
1) validated sustainable cleaning and disinfection methods
2) autonomous cleaning and disinfection verification and
3) user reassurance via appropriate communication channels
Digital technologies (e.g. sensors, robotics, IoT and apps) have the potential to address this challenge requiring a multidisciplinary and open innovation approach.
The aim of this research is to use a UV disinfection robot and a small-scale user study to collect preliminary data for larger projects targeting external funding sources.