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Robot disinfects 68,000 square feet in just 20 minutes

20 April 2020

Cumbria-based advanced technology solutions specialist, Forth Engineering, has developed a robot capable of rapidly disinfecting large areas to help in the fight against coronavirus.

Forth Engineering is known for its innovative solutions to complex industry challenges in the nuclear, oil and gas, renewables and other sectors all over the world. Now managing director, Mark Telford (pictured), 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.

“We have had lots of inquiries about it and we are now going into production. We will have to see how many robots people want us to manufacture.”

The robot is able to be worked remotely, controlled from a safe distance, to help the NHS and other organisations keep areas clean during the coronavirus outbreak.

“It can be used to sterilise ambulances, hospitals, shops and supermarkets, wherever it’s required,” said Telford. “It works in a similar way to a vapour cigarette in that it fires high pressure vapour which will settle in every part of a designated area.

“It can also be used to disinfect factories and offices, schools and colleges, before people return to work and go back to education after the lockdown to make sure they are safe to use.”

In terms of the impressive speed of Forth’s response, Telford said it’s how he and his team have been used to working to help solve complex industry problems. “When people have a problem, we come up with solutions. That’s our skill-set. That’s what we do. We are known across industry for responding quickly and coming up with quick, cost-efficient solutions which are ready to go.

“Our unique skills have been developed over the last 20 years of solving complex issues on the Sellafield site. We have exacting standards with our proven products tried and tested in the nuclear industry.

“If anywhere in the world can pull off a rapid response, working in adverse conditions, against the clock, and to a tight budget, then we can, and Cumbrians can,” said Telford.

 
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