|Angga Rusdinar||School of Electrical Engineering, Telkom University, Jl. Telekomunikasi No.1, Sukapura, Bandung 40257, Indonesia|
|Irwan Purnama||1. School of Electrical Engineering, Telkom University, Jl. Telekomunikasi No.1, Sukapura, Bandung 40257, Indonesia 2. National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Jl. Sangkuriang, Cisitu, Bandung|
|Azam Zamhuri Fuadi||School of Electrical Engineering, Telkom University, Jl. Telekomunikasi No.1, Sukapura, Bandung 40257, Indonesia|
|H. Adiluhung||Creative Industrial Faculty, Telkom University, Jalan Telekomunikasi No.1, Sukapura, Bandung 40257, Indonesia|
|M. Wicaksono||Research and Development Dept., Narutindo Tech., Jl. Telekomunikasi No.1, Sukapura, Bandung 40257, Indonesia|
|Risnanda||Research and Development Dept., Narutindo Tech., Jl. Telekomunikasi No.1, Sukapura, Bandung 40257, Indonesi|
|Ratih Asmana Ningrum||National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Jl. Sangkuriang, Cisitu, Bandung 40135, Indonesia|
The number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has
increased significantly of late. Therefore, isolation rooms are needed in
hospitals for patient treatment. Room sterilization and disinfection are
strictly required as it is mandatory to protect the medical personnel. Chemical
and physical methods can be used for sterilization and disinfection. Of these,
the ultraviolet C (UVC) light method is the best because it has no residual.
Even though UVC light is hazardous for humans’ skin and eyes, such hazard can
be avoided by eliminating human operators during usage. Thus, we developed a
mobile robot with a UVC light system installed at the top and bottom to emit
UVC light. We called this robot the Automated UVC Light Mobile Robot (AUMR).
The AUMR can be operated automatically as it has a magnetic line sensor and
employs a fuzzy inference system algorithm for its movement. The experiment
showed that UVC light has good sterilization and disinfection performance in
three room types: positive-pressure rooms, negative-pressure rooms, and
standard public rooms.
Automated; Automated UVC light mobile robot (AUMR); Disinfection; Mobile robot; Sterilization; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); Ultraviolet C (UVC) light
Since the first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was found in Wuhan, China, the COVID-19 cases have significantly increased on a pandemic scale. The spread of the virus causing COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has had terrible effects. It has not only resulted in massive human casualties but has also wreaked havoc on the economies of several countries (Berawi et al., 2020). In many cases, death results when the infection develops into acute pneumonia. Testing, tracking, and isolation are helping stop the spread of the virus, but even though isolation technologies for confirmed patients have been developed, such as the modular isolation unit proposed by Yatmo et al. (2021), the infection risk for healthcare workers is still high.
Until recently, no effective treatment for COVID-19 has been found. While the antiviral strategy is still being developed, patients have been given numerous types of antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of bacterial co?infection and secondary bacterial infections. Although antibiotics do not directly affect SARS?CoV?2 multiplication, viral respiratory infections often lead to bacterial pneumonia. Co-infection and secondary bacterial infection are critical factors that determine the severity and mortality of the patients (Mirzaei et al., 2020). The overuse of antibiotics, however, may cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can also endanger not only patients but also healthcare workers due to bacterial airborne transmission. Besides the use of personal protective equipment to avoid direct transmission of the virus and bacteria, room surfaces should be regularly sterilized and disinfected to inhibit indirect transmission therefrom.
Based on the No. 86/2013 regulation of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, technologies used for medical purposes must meet several requirements, such as: (a) safety, quality, and proven benefits; (b) appropriateness and affordability; and (c) ability to protect the public from the risks of using and misusing medical devices. Thus, the sterilization and disinfection method used for preventing the transmission of SARS CoV-2 should meet all these requirements. The sterilization and disinfection method using the ultraviolet C (UVC) light technology integrated with a mobile robot meets these requirements. Compared to other sterilization and disinfection methods, however, the UVC-light-technology-based mobile robot needs complex components and is thus relatively costly. Some companies have already developed this technology, such as UVD-Robot from Denmark, Finsen Technologies from the UK, and Mediland from Taiwan, but they are too costly (Ackerman, 2020; Finsen Tech, 2020; Mediland, 2020). Therefore, research is required to build the same technology at a lower cost. Such research can also encourage the development and application of similar technologies in Indonesia.
In this paper, an automated UVC-light-technology-based mobile robot for room sterilization and disinfection is introduced. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 presents the research methods; section 3, the results; and section 4, the discussion and conclusion.
study showed that the developed AUMR was able to reduce and kill airborne
bacteria. It can thus be used to disinfect different types of rooms (e.g.,
isolation, operating, and public rooms) contaminated with hazardous bacteria
that may be associated with COVID-19. On the basis of the study by Strom et al.
(2020), the AUMR should be operated for 2.3 s 1 m away from the object for
partial bacteria inactivation. As for the virus infectivity reduction to below
detectable levels, the AUMR should be operated for 26.3 s for dried viruses and
for 11.7 s for wet viruses. A greater distance means that more time is needed
to reach the right dose for virus inactivation.
work was supported by the Program of COVID-19 Research Consortium and
Innovation of the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology and by
Indonesia Endowment for Education of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance. We
thank the Information and Autonomous Control System Laboratory, Telkom
University, the Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory, and the Technical Implementation Unit for Instrumentation Development of the Indonesian Institute
of Sciences for making this work possible.