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In Building and environment

Mass-gathering built environments such as hospitals, schools, and airports can become hot spots for pathogen transmission and exposure. Disinfection is critical for reducing infection risks and preventing outbreaks of infectious diseases. However, cleaning and disinfection are labor-intensive, time-consuming, and health-undermining, particularly during the pandemic of the coronavirus disease in 2019. To address the challenge, a novel framework is proposed in this study to enable robotic disinfection in built environments to reduce pathogen transmission and exposure. First, a simultaneous localization and mapping technique is exploited for robot navigation in built environments. Second, a deep-learning method is developed to segment and map areas of potential contamination in three dimensions based on the object affordance concept. Third, with short-wavelength ultraviolet light, the trajectories of robotic disinfection are generated to adapt to the geometries of areas of potential contamination to ensure complete and safe disinfection. Both simulations and physical experiments were conducted to validate the proposed methods, which demonstrated the feasibility of intelligent robotic disinfection and highlighted the applicability in mass-gathering built environments.

Hu Da, Zhong Hai, Li Shuai, Tan Jindong, He Qiang


Built environment, COVID-19, Deep learning, Infection prevention, Robotic disinfection