随着疫情的持续,清洁机器人出现在办公室值班

2020-11-19 07:32

As the pandemic continues, cleaning robots are showing up for duty at the office 61Y世界播

随着疫情的持续,清洁机器人出现在办公室值班61Y世界播


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Image: Build With Robots 61Y世界播

图片:与机器人一起建造61Y世界播


Airflow is a subject dear to Charlie Strange’s heart. As the facilities director for a Texas facility operated by HVAC manufacturer Goodman, he helps oversee the production of heating, ventilation, and AC units in the world’s fifth-largest factory building — 4.2 million square feet of space, all dedicated to the generation of hot and cold currents and gusts. 61Y世界播

气流是查理·斯特兰奇非常关注的话题。作为暖通空调制造商古德曼(Goodman)在德克萨斯州运营的工厂的设施总监,他帮助监督世界第五大工厂大楼(420万平方英尺)的供暖、通风和空调机组的生产,所有这些设备都用于产生冷热气流和阵风。61Y世界播


But when the pandemic forced Goodman to send thousands of workers home, Strange had to consider airflow anew — specifically, how the eddies and flows inside his Texas plant would affect the work of his latest hire: a cleaning robot named Breezy One that trundles around the gargantuan factory, spraying a fine mist of virus-killing disinfectant onto the surfaces. For office managers looking at a pandemic-tinged future, such considerations could well become routine. 61Y世界播

但是,当疫情迫使古德曼将数千名工人遣送回国时,斯特兰奇不得不重新考虑气流--具体地说,他在德克萨斯州的工厂内的漩涡和流动将如何影响他最新聘用的机器人的工作:一个名为Breezy One的清洁机器人在这座巨大的工厂周围穿梭,在表面喷洒一层细小的杀毒消毒剂雾。对于着眼于大流行色彩的未来的办公室经理来说,这样的考虑很可能成为例行公事。61Y世界播


“This robot’s going to be able to clean 200,000 square feet of office and conference rooms in two, maybe two and a half hours,” Strange tells The Verge. “It would take my team all night long to do that — wiping down every surface by hand.” 61Y世界播

斯特兰奇在接受The Verge采访时表示:“这个机器人可以在两个半小时内清理20万平方英尺的办公室和会议室。”“我的团队要花上一整晚的时间才能做到这一点--用手把每一个表面都擦干净。”61Y世界播


When Strange unpacked the Breezy One, the first tasks he and the machine’s creators, Build With Robots, had to tackle was a contaminant study — finding out exactly where the bot’s disinfectant mist could clean. To carry out this study, technicians dropped test plates around the plant populated with microbes taken from the compost heap of Kimberly Corbitt, Build With Robots’ head of customer engagement. 61Y世界播

当斯特兰奇打开Breezy One的包装时,他和机器人的创造者们必须解决的第一个任务是污染研究-找出机器人的消毒雾到底能在哪里清洗。为了进行这项研究,技术人员在工厂周围投放了试验板,里面堆满了从金伯利·科比特(Kimberly Corbitt)的堆肥堆中提取的微生物,该堆肥堆是由Robots的客户参与部负责人建造的。61Y世界播


“It’s the worst smelling thing you’ve ever smelled in your life,” says Corbitt of her compost. “I dilute it in a giant pitcher of water, put it into a spray bottle, then spray it onto these foam plates. The first time I did it, the total viable count was out of the testable range and I had to dilute it by a factor of 100. My compost is really healthy.” 61Y世界播

科比特谈到她的堆肥时说:“这是你一生中闻过的最难闻的东西。”“我把它放在一个巨大的水罐里稀释,放进一个喷雾瓶里,然后喷到这些泡沫板上。”我第一次做的时候,活菌总数超出了可检测的范围,我不得不把它稀释到原来的100倍。我的堆肥真的很健康。“。61Y世界播


Before Breezy One could start cleaning, it had to be guided around Goodman’s offices to map the area. 61Y世界播

在微风一号开始清洁之前,它必须被引导到古德曼的办公室周围绘制该地区的地图。61Y世界播


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GIF: Goodman 61Y世界播

GIF:古德曼。61Y世界播


Each plate is divided into two halves: one side covered and the other side uncovered. Once the plates have been placed, Breezy One does its thing, spreading a mist of disinfectant around the area. The next day, technicians check to see what percentage of microbes have been killed off, comparing the uncovered half of the plates with the covered half as a control sample. In essence, they’re checking that the disinfectant is getting everywhere it should. 61Y世界播

每个盘子被分成两半:一边盖着,另一边不盖。一旦盘子被放置好,微风一号就会做它的事情,在这个区域周围撒上一层消毒剂的薄雾。第二天,技术人员检查看微生物被杀死的百分比是多少,将未盖好的一半与盖着的那一半作为对照样本进行比较。从本质上说,他们是在检查消毒剂是否到达了它应该到达的任何地方。61Y世界播


This is why airflow is important, says Strange, as his team had to account for the building’s air conditioning units when checking the spread of the disinfectant around its offices and meeting rooms. “We might slow down the robot or change the route based on the dispersal pattern because of the HVAC or how high the ceiling is,” he says. 61Y世界播

斯特兰奇说,这就是为什么气流很重要,因为他的团队在检查消毒剂在办公室和会议室的传播情况时,必须考虑大楼的空调设备。他说:“由于暖通空调或天花板有多高,我们可能会放慢机器人的速度,或者根据分散模式改变路线。”61Y世界播


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Image: Pittsburgh International Airport 61Y世界播

图片来源:匹兹堡国际机场61Y世界播


Thankfully, Goodman found that Breezy One worked as advertised. “The dispersal pattern on it is very nice, it mists very well, which means [the disinfectant] floats and can get into all those areas,” says Strange. “That’s one of the reasons you want the airflow in the room going, because it helps deliver it around the room, rather than having it shoot straight up and fall straight down.” 61Y世界播

值得庆幸的是,古德曼发现微风一号的效果和宣传的一样。斯特兰奇说:“消毒剂的扩散模式非常好,雾气很好,这意味着(消毒剂)漂浮在水面上,可以进入所有这些区域。”“这就是你想让房间里的气流保持畅通的原因之一,因为这有助于让气流在房间内四处传播,而不是让气流垂直向上和垂直落下。”61Y世界播


The robot itself is about the size of a bulky trash can, with a wheeled base and two large mist-producing jet nozzles on top that stick out like a pair of swiveling eyes. It moves at a steady walking pace, using a combination of LIDAR and 3D cameras to navigate like a self-driving car. And it’s not the only robot making its way into these sorts of shared spaces. 61Y世界播

机器人本身大约有一个笨重的垃圾桶大小,有一个轮式底座,顶部有两个巨大的喷嘴,喷嘴伸出起来就像一双旋转的眼睛。它以稳定的步行速度移动,使用激光雷达和3D摄像头的组合来导航,就像自动驾驶汽车一样。而且它也不是唯一一个进入这种共享空间的机器人。61Y世界播


Cleaning machines have come into fashion with the pandemic. Hospitals around the world have been deploying them since the spring, using robots that radiate ultraviolet light to kill germs and viruses rather than “foggers” like Breezy One. Airports and arenas are getting in on the action, too, with the latter using drones that spray disinfectant over stadium seating. Now it seems offices are next. The demand certainly seems to be there, with one US manufacturer, Xenex, saying sales of its UV cleaning robots are up 600 percent compared to 2019. 61Y世界播

随着疫情的蔓延,清洁机开始流行起来。自今年春天以来,世界各地的医院一直在部署它们,使用发射紫外线的机器人来杀灭细菌和病毒,而不是像微风一号这样的“雾剂”。机场和竞技场也加入了这一行动,后者使用无人机在体育场座位上喷洒消毒剂。现在看来,办公室是下一个目标。需求似乎肯定存在,美国制造商Xenex表示,与2019年相比,其UV清洁机器人的销量增长了600%。61Y世界播


Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics, the company that makes the autonomous base of Breezy One, tells The Verge that interest in disinfecting robots has taken off swiftly. She says the two main types of machines — UV emitters and foggers — are suited to different markets, with the former better suited for small rooms and the latter working best in larger spaces. 61Y世界播

制造微风一号自主基地的Fetch Robotics公司首席执行官Melonee Wise告诉The Verge,人们对机器人消毒的兴趣正在迅速升温。她说,两种主要类型的机器-紫外线发射器和雾化器-适合不同的市场,前者更适合小房间,后者在较大的空间工作得最好。61Y世界播


Robots like these will become staple fixtures “in any area that has a large amount of the general public filtering through,” predicts Wise. “There’s just a large need to provide continuous disinfection.” She says, although the pandemic has prompted many companies to investigate these machines. If the robots prove their effectiveness, they’ll likely become a regular part of cleaning operations even after COVID-19 is under control. 61Y世界播

怀斯预测,这样的机器人将成为“任何有大量普通公众参与的地区”的主要设备。“提供持续消毒的需求很大。”她说,尽管疫情促使许多公司对这些机器进行了调查。如果这些机器人证明了它们的有效性,即使在新冠肺炎得到控制之后,它们也很可能成为清洁作业的常规组成部分。61Y世界播


“Whether or not it’s COVID, there’s always going to be some next viral thing coming through that [companies] will want to disinfect,” says Wise. “We’re looking at having one at our headquarters for flu season, for example, as I would guess maybe 30 percent of staff ends up out because of flu.” 61Y世界播

怀斯说:“不管是不是COVID,总会有下一个病毒通过(公司)想要消毒的病毒出现。”“例如,在流感季节,我们正考虑在总部安装一台,因为我猜可能有30%的员工最终会因为流感而离职。”61Y世界播


“I think people should be demanding that these things are in their offices,” she adds. 61Y世界播

“我认为人们应该要求把这些东西放在办公室里,”她补充道。61Y世界播


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Image: Blue Ocean Robotics 61Y世界播

图片来源:蓝海机器人公司61Y世界播


Some buyers certainly see the robots as investments for an uncertain future. Pamela Ott, deputy city manager for Pleasanton, an affluent city in Alameda County, California, purchased three UV cleaning robots for operation in various government facilities — the city permit office, the library, and senior center — and says she thinks they’ll be useful long beyond the duration of the pandemic. 61Y世界播

一些买家当然将机器人视为对不确定未来的投资。帕梅拉·奥特(Pamela Ott)是加利福尼亚州阿拉米达县(Alameda County)富裕城市普莱森顿(Pleasanton)的城市副经理,她购买了三台紫外线清洁机器人,用于各种政府设施-市政许可证办公室、图书馆和老年中心-并表示,她认为它们在疫情持续很长时间后都会很有用。61Y世界播


“We purchased the robots because we know they’re helpful now and helpful in the long run,” Ott told The Verge. “We look around and we look ahead, and we don’t think COVID is going away, certainly not in the very near future… . And we know any time we can better clean and disinfect our facilities, that’s a good position for us.” 61Y世界播

奥特告诉The Verge:“我们购买这些机器人是因为我们知道它们现在很有帮助,而且从长远来看也很有帮助。”“我们环顾四周,展望未来,我们认为Covid不会消失,肯定不会在不久的将来消失。”…。。我们知道,任何时候我们都可以更好地清洁和消毒我们的设施,这对我们来说是一个很好的位置。“。61Y世界播


Ott says each of the three machines she purchased from local distributor SNAP Solutions cost around $99,000 but that the price was worth it. “It’s a significant outlay for a city, but it’s our belief that our purchase of the robot is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure the safety of our employees and community members,” says Ott. The makers of Pleasanton’s new cleaning robots, Blue Ocean Robotics, say they’ve sold to a number of customers for use in offices and that interest has also spiked from hotels in recent months. 61Y世界播

奥特说,她从当地分销商SNAP Solutions购买的三台机器每台的价格都在9.9万美元左右,但这个价格是值得的。奥特说:“对于一个城市来说,这是一笔巨大的开支,但我们相信,购买机器人是我们能够采取的确保员工和社区成员安全的最重要措施之一。”Pleasanton的新型清洁机器人Blue Ocean Robotics的制造商表示,他们已经向一些客户出售了用于办公室的产品,近几个月来酒店的兴趣也在激增。61Y世界播


Gauging how effective these machines actually are at protecting people from COVID is difficult, though. Build With Robots, maker of the Breezy One, claims that the disinfectant its machines use kills 99.9999 percent of bacteria, as well as the novel coronavirus. (The chemical solution in question is a brand known as Aeris Active.) But killing the virus by cleaning surfaces is not the same as safeguarding real-world environments from COVID-19. 61Y世界播

然而,衡量这些机器在保护人们免受冠状病毒感染方面的实际效果是困难的。微风一号的制造商机器人制造公司声称,它的机器使用的消毒剂杀死了99.9999%的细菌,以及新型冠状病毒。(问题中的化学溶液是一个名为Aeris Active的品牌。)。但是,通过清洁表面来杀死病毒并不等同于从新冠肺炎手中保护现实世界的环境。61Y世界播

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