Chongqing – China has so far achieved great success in the battle against COVID-19, thanks mainly to the heroic efforts of medical personnel, government agencies, and the general public. However, smart technology has also played an essential role during the crisis. So, in our series’ “Smart epidemic solutions,” iChongqing will cover the latest products we can expect to see very soon. For example, we will see them in action in companies, hospitals, airports, and other public areas. Finally, as more countries deal with outbreaks of COVID-19, we hope to share ways that people worldwide can learn from China’s work of prevention and control.
Welinkirt is an international AI robotics developer with a base in Chongqing Liangjiang New Area. During the COVID-19 outbreak, they developed a smart UV disinfection robot that has curbed the spread of the virus. For example, this product has worked to over 99.999% effect across China in places such as offices, hospitals, malls, and airports. To learn more about the UV robot, we requested an interview with CEO Mr. Ran and chief technology officer Alan Chen.
Since the Welinkirt in Chongqing hasn’t been in operation during the crisis, they spoke to us online from their homes in Vancouver, Canada. In the interview, we discussed the key features and development of the smart UV disinfection robot. Afterward, they also spoke about the effect on business operations at their Chongqing headquarters.
The smart WeRobotics-B UV disinfection technology meets industrial level standards.
In public and commercial areas where this product is used, such as airports and hospitals, the demands are not so harsh as the factory environment. For example, factories can have extreme temperature differences, large amounts of dust, and 24-hour operation. So reliability needs to be extremely high.
This product also measures body temperature remotely. As a visual robotics company, the smart UV disinfection robot is an essential product. It can disinfect while nobody is around at night, then serve to measure people’s temperature during the day.
Naturally, unlike human workers, the UV disinfection robot doesn’t suffer an illness, so they are suitable for airports, offices, hotels, and hospitals.
The UV disinfection robot is a fully automatic indoor machine that works 24 hours a day. It is equipped with a vision guidance system that allows it to locate and avoid people and obstacles. Most importantly, it can effectively disinfect an environment of viruses, such as in hospitals and clinics.
The navigation system it uses is similar to autonomous cars, except there are some added challenges because the UV robot works indoors. For instance, it is more challenging to avoid indoor collisions. Also, there’s the matter of interaction, as operators have to designate where it should clean, and consider the need to save power.
Several projects in China were signed before the (Chinese) New Year. The original plan was to fulfill them after the holiday, but this hasn’t been possible. Hence, the only option was to postpone indefinitely.
At the moment, employees can only work from home. Of course, teams in China and Canada still liaise over the internet. Still, the application side to operations has come to a halt. Instead, energies have been refocused on R&D, and so this is how the temperature testing visual robot came out so quickly.
Employees are still working hard, except that they are at home rather than doing 9:00~6:00 shifts. Nevertheless, R&D is currently the priority, so that products offer more variety and improved technology.
Welinkirt is an AI company that has worked in the field of robotics for over ten years, and have multiple offices between China and Canada. For example, they have a presence in Chongqing, Beijing, as well as the headquarters in Vancouver. Additionally, customers are located all over the world, including Europe and the USA.
Liangjiang New Area in Chongqing is a great location for the company to set up an office. This is because the local government offered a very attractive financial package, and the area continues to grow in reputation as a leading industrial center.
In Beijing, the office experienced difficulties from COVID-19 in early February, because employees were unable to come to work. So, during this time, it wasn’t possible to offer solutions to our customers, which was a big challenge. However, the situation has since returned to normal.
In Vancouver, the outbreak is still in its early stages. Even so, company employees now wear masks and sanitize their hands regularly. Employees also work at home if they begin to show symptoms. However, at the moment, people in Vancouver are not all wearing masks yet. What they should try to gain from experience in China is swift action, strict rules, and the need to avoid contact.