CUMBRIA, UK – A robot capable of rapidly disinfecting large areas has been invented by a UK engineering firm.
Forth Engineering in Cumbria normally solves complex industry challenges in the nuclear, oil and gas, renewables and other sectors all over the world.
Now Forth managing director Mark Telford and his team have responded to the fight against COVID-19 by inventing a remotely-operated disinfecting robot.
“It’s an amazing bit of kit. I took it to one of our sites and it disinfected 68,000 square feet in just 20 minutes. It’s very impressive,” said Telford.
“We’ve put together our tracked robot, vapour cannon, camera and lights, and developed the first one in a matter of days. That’s how quickly we always work, it’s just that the sectors which need our help are different right now and this is a national emergency.”
The company said it has had so many inquiries that it is putting the robot into production.
The robot is able to work remotely, controlled from a safe distance, to help health services and other organizations keep areas clean during the coronavirus outbreak.
“It can be used to sterilize ambulances, hospitals, shops and supermarkets, wherever it’s required,” Telford said.
The robotic unit fires high pressure vapour which will settle in every part of a designated area.
Based in Cumbria, Forth employs 54 people in Maryport, Barrow and Cleator Moor. The company has a global reputation for innovative solutions, saving lives by inventing robots to carry out hazardous tasks, instead of putting people into dangerous areas.
Its recent projects include working to develop a world-first Friction Stir Welding Robotic Crawler (FSWbot) for internal repair and refurbishment of pipelines which can be used by a range of industries without having to stop production.
It has also recently worked with partners on developing the pioneering Hullguard system of protecting floating offshore installations from corrosion without using divers which has been successfully deployed for the first time in the UK North Sea.