Although service robots have taken a long time to come to market, cleaning and disinfection robots are continuing to proliferate during the novel coronavirus pandemic. CIRQ+ this week launched CIRQ+CLEAN, which combines cloud connectivity, the Cbot autonomous robot, and a disinfectant spray. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company said its “touchless” system could be useful in hotels, schools, apartment buildings, offices, restaurants, and other spaces.
CIRQ+ is a cloud-based platform and modular in-room hub that consolidate wireless charging, alarm clock, Wi-Fi access, Bluetooth audio, temperature controls, and more, according to the company. CIRQ+ added that its unified amenities can be activated by voice controls or a mobile app for touch-free room controls and ease of use. It claimed that its “future-proof” Internet of things (IoT) system can help hotel and commercial property owners reduce energy usage and reduce operating expenses.
“As technologists and innovators at CIRQ+, we were inspired to rise to the challenge posed by the pandemic to leverage our Ultimate Smart Room platform to create viable solutions,” stated Yani Deros, founder and CEO of CIRQ+. “CIRQ+CLEAN was created to ensure that employees, guests, or residents can trust that the property where they are working or staying has implemented the highest standard of health and safety measures.”
CIRQ+CLEAN uses the cloud and spray
“Due to the magnitude of the crisis that has devastated business across the country, our team of technologists and innovators developed an MVP solution within six weeks to take on the challenge of a IoT touchless sterilization robot that can be applied to numerous industries,” Deros told The Robot Report.
The CIRQ+ in-room hub can sense whether a room is occupied or vacant. It can then wirelessly dispatch a Cbot to sterilize a space without manual labor, said the company.
The mobile disinfection robot circumnavigates the space and sprays an “all-natural, non-toxic” solution approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use against Sars-CoV-2, as well as other pathogens on hard, non-porous surfaces, CIRQ+ said. The Cbot consistently dispenses an electrostatically-charged disinfectant to sanitize hard-to-reach areas that manual cleaning or ultraviolet lights might miss, said the company.
“Cbot was developed to be deployed one unit per hotel room, office, or classroom, so our footprint base is compact to navigate into tighter spaces and locations,” said Deros. “Also with the electrostatic sprayer, we can project 5+ feet across surfaces that larger form-factor stations cannot access.”
Once the initial spraying is complete, housekeeping can safely enter the sterilized room to change linens, clean bathrooms, vacuum, and complete routine cleaning practices. Cbot is a robot that protects jobs rather than replacing them, claimed CIRQ+.
After housekeeping is finished, workers inform the hub and leave the room, allowing CIRQ+CLEAN to go through it a second time. The amount of time required to clean a room varies depending on room size, layout, and configuration, Deros explained.
“In our hotel tech lab, we were able to treat an 800+ square-foot room in 3 minutes and 30 seconds repeatedly,” he added. “This included the bathroom.”
Informing and protecting guests
Guests are provided with information on the process. They can receive reassurance that they are entering a thoroughly disinfected room upon entry through a spoken or written message on the screen of the CIRQ+ unit.
How is the IoT data secured? “Cbot is controlled by our cloud-controlled CIRQ+ Hub, which is a patented platform where we have advanced occupancy sensors integrated into our ecosystem,” Deros said. “There are also systematic protocols that will only enable the Cbot under certain control conditions, as the unit will not run when there is any human presence.”
Rather than have robots roaming multiple floors, CIRQ+ plans to deploy one per area, said Deros.
“Due to the seriousness of the pathogens and the complexities of spaces, we are deploying one Cbot per space to minimize package prices,” he said. “When a robot solution needs to navigate through a building or multiple rooms, the complexity and costs escalate exponentially.”
CIRQ+ plans to offer Cbot in mixed installation options including robots as a service (RaaS), depending on the market verticals, Deros said. “Ours also will include IoT plans and the all-natural disinfecting solution,” he said. The goal is to help restore confidence in the travel and hospitality industry.