LG Electronics said on Tuesday that it has introduced a disinfection robot that will assist in containing the spread of COVID-19.
The robot comes with ultraviolet-C (UV-C) lamps on its sides. UV-C has an emission wavelength between 100 to 280nm that is effective in killing germs, the company said.
The UV-C lamp on the robot was shown to be 99.9% effective in killing bacteria coliform and staphylococcus aureus from within a metre radius by the Korea Conformity Laboratories, a national research institute, the company said.
The robot is 160cm tall and comes with autonomous driving technology so it can move through obstacles. It was designed to disinfect objects and areas that are reachable by hands, LG added.
LG will deploy them in places such as hotels, hospitals, and schools where there are many separated and independent spaces.
The robots will help to alleviate health workers' workloads at a time when disinfection is more important than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said.
The company is also developing an alternative version that sprays disinfectants instead of having UV-C lamp. This version will be more suitable for places with more open areas such as offices, restaurants, and transportation stations, LG said.
South Korea is seeing a spike in new COVID-19 cases this month. On Tuesday, the capital Seoul began imposing a new 9pm curfew on restaurants, bars, and cafes. Gyms and karaoke bars have also been ordered to close entirely. As of the same day, the country has had 38,755 confirmed cases and 552 deaths.
Meanwhile, last month, LG began trials for its in-door robot delivery service at its headquarters in Seoul. Employees can order food from the convenience store via their KakaoTalk chat app and have a robot deliver it to them.