This Year’s Crop of Covid Cleansing Robots at CES 2021

UV light is the weapon of choice for autonomous robots designed to clean hospital rooms, public spaces, and schools.

Vendors at CES 2021 are showing off rolling cleaning machines that can disinfect public spaces. Companies are also promoting smart devices and even product coatings to keep germs at bay in the air and on surfaces.

Gartner analyst Jonathan Davenport said that companies have been building pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light technology into simple robots to disinfect surfaces for years, but COVID-19 has seen demand leap substantially. Automating the cleaning process improves consistency and complements the cleaning staff, he said.

“For example, one provider told me that 50% of high-touch services in a hospital weren’t cleaned properly with traditional chemical solutions—the housekeepers just don’t have time to thoroughly clean a room,” he said. “The disinfection robot is much better at disinfection than human cleaners, and the robot is simply wheeled into a room and allowed to perform its cleaning cycle.”

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