If you’re in Asia these days – especially in China - there is only one topic of conversation: coronavirus. The coronavirus crisis has disrupted life and work in a way not seen since the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003. Already, the crisis has its iconic images: citizens in face masks, empty streets and Wuhan’s amazing construction of a thousand-bed hospital in just 10 days.
But, if you are following the tech and facility-management industries during this crisis period, you may see another image coming to symbolize China’s emergency response: the robot.
China has changed dramatically since SARS, and there’s no area where the transformation has been more complete than in technology. Now, as China mobilizes an all-out assault on coronavirus, the country’s world-leading robotics industry will be a major contributor to the fight, allowing hospitals, businesses and schools to disinfect and ensure hygiene with a level of human safety, dependability and traceability that would have been unimaginable in past crises.
The fight against coronavirus is far from over, but even now, hygiene and disinfection robots are in action at facilities across China, sanitizing the surfaces we walk on and the air we breathe.
Sanitizing where your people cannot (or should not) go
With a highly contagious pathogen like coronavirus, the first wave of disinfection is critical, as is ongoing hygiene for people's daily coming and going at your site. Unfortunately, disinfection is also extremely high-risk work for humans, exposing your staff to a heightened threat of exposure, cross-contamination and virus transmission.
This is where disinfection robots can play a vital role as a facility’s “first-responder”. When a room or site is most contaminated, disinfection robots can easily enter to sanitize the floor and air without risk of infection. Follow-up hygiene tasks can then be carried out manually, but at lower risk to human staff. Besides this safety value, disinfection robots reduce the cost and complexity of sourcing biohazard clothing and equipment for manual disinfection.
This value extends past first-wave response, because every time a workplace or school opens for the day, every time a hospital admits new patients, the risk of new viral infections returns. The solution for facilities is not to shut down, but to protect their people on a daily basis with an aggressive schedule of disinfection. Having a hygiene robot on site makes this level of rapid response significantly easier to achieve.
Dependability - no time for surprises
At the best of times, every human brings some level of unpredictability to the workplace - sickness, travel delays, family emergency, etc. And in good times, that's ok; companies have procedures for mitigating these ordinary surprises, which rarely occur at a scale to disrupt the workplace.
But in a crisis like coronavirus, everything changes.
It's not just Wuhan. Across China, cities and districts have been forced to take drastic action on short notice - limiting public transport, restricting movement and closing workspaces.
At the same time, the speed of infection can remove large numbers of staff from your site almost overnight. If the people removed are staff who would otherwise conduct critical hygiene and disinfection work, the effect on the facility and its workplace safety can be devastating.
In contrast to human staff, robots do not get sick. Robots do not get others sick. Robots do not need time off or even leave the worksite.
If there is one overriding benefit to robotics, it is their depedability. When a crisis like coronavirus can force sudden, disruptive surprises at any moment, this depedability becomes hugely important for ensuring regular sanitization and hygiene continue in the workplace.
Traceability – no room for error
How clean is clean? Is one person’s idea of job completed the same as the next person’s? How quickly, and how easily, can you see what has and hasn’t been done? In ordinary times, these are critical questions for service quality and workplace experience. During an outbreak, the stakes are even higher, with everyone’s health on the line.
This is where the cutting edge of disinfection robotics meets the cutting edge of digitalization and IoT. Combining these technologies, hygiene and disinfection robots are able to quantify exactly what has been done, and exactly where it has been done. This means more peace of mind and the ability to do fast, targeted hygiene work with pinpoint accuracy.
Because IoT and digitalization are fundamentally about linking information, this traceability is fully scalable. So, getting a comprehensive, real-time overview of all automated hygiene procedures is just as achievable for a company with multiple sites as it is for single-site organizations.
How Aden Robotics can help
Right now, at Aden’s headquarters in Shanghai, and its 80 cities of operation in China, Aden Robotics is linking partners with the most advanced disinfection and hygiene robots on the market. Our network is cross-brand and cross-sector, allowing us to combine the best equipment for each site’s specific needs.
For hygiene and disinfection, Aden Robotics offers advanced solutions that disinfect surfaces and air, for general use and for specialized use in hospitals and other medical facilities.
We also provide a range of zero-contact robots which reduce virus transmission through skin-to -surface and face-to-face contact. We will be profiling these in part 2 of this series (coming soon).
Are you interested in a robotics solution? Let's talk. Start the process by taking this survey assessing your needs: https://survey.adenservices.com:443/diaowen/epkthu3io.html
Want to know more about the robots and services Aden can bring to your facility?
Download our brochure and Q&A on disinfection and hygiene robots: Brochure / Q&A