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Danish disinfection robots save lives in the fight against the Corona virus

Back in 2014-2017, Blue Ocean Robotics created a self-driving disinfection robot in a pre-commercial procurement for a buyers group from several Danish regions. Since then, the Danish start-up attracted $48,7M USD Venture Funding, experienced a steep growth to over dkk 850 million valuation and +200 employees, and is tipped to become Denmark’s next unicorn. The company already sold its disinfection robot to over 60 countries that are now using it to combat the Corona virus.

The development started in 2014, when a group of Danish hospitals started a hospital disinfection pre-commercial procurement, demanding a far more effective way of reducing infection rates in hospitals. The fruitful collaboration between bacteriologists, virologists and hospital staff from hospitals, and robot developers, designers, engineers, investors and business people from Blue Ocean Robotics.

The solution consist of a self-driving robot platform that is equipped with a UV light system. With ultraviolet light, the robot can disinfect and kill diseases, viruses, bacteria, and other types of harmful organic microorganisms in the environment by breaking down their DNA-structure. The robot disinfects 99,99% of the bacteria and viruses. The invention increases the safety of both staff, patients and their relatives by reducing the risk of contact with bacteria, viruses and other harmful microorganisms. This can effectively prevent and reduce the spread of infectious diseases, viruses and bacteria. The system automatically pays special attention to "infection hotspots", such as washbasin, patient bed, handles etc.

The UVD robot is user-friendly, safe, and reliable, saves operational costs and eliminates human error. Once the cleaning staff orders the robot to start its cleaning route via an app, the robot moves autonomously from room to room, it can take the elevator and open doors automatically. It therefore has a minimal impact on hospital staff workflow. In addition, the robot supports an optional add-on module that can detect fluorescent bacteria and biological fluids. This can for example be used as a learning tool for cleaning staff, for data collection regarding hospital hygiene, etc.

Through a Chinese partner, Sunay Healthcare Supply, the robots have been deployed since February 2020 in all Chinese provinces to help fight the Corona virus. “Before entering into the agreement with UVD Robots, we screened the market for the best technologies to fight the coronavirus. We found the UVD robot to be superior compared to other technologies. More than 2,000 hospitals now have the opportunity to ensure effective disinfection, protecting both their patients and staff,” says Su Yan, CEO of Sunay Healthcare Supply, a medical equipment supplier to the Chinese market.

Since 2016 the company attracted four rounds of investment ($7,4M USD in 2016, $14,8M USD in 2018, $12M USD in 2019 and $20M USD in 2010). It doubled its valuation in one year time and is growing so fast that it is hiring two new employees per day. The company is tipped to become Denmark's next unicorn. Since the early market introduction in 2018, the UVD robot has already been sold in more than 60 countries. UVD Robots is delivering its self-driving disinfection robots to hospitals throughout Asia in addition to healthcare markets in Europe and the United States. In addition to the healthcare sector, the UVD robots are now also increasingly deployed within hotels, railways, airports, shopping malls, food companies, cruise ships, pharmaceutical companies, schools, office complexes and many more across the glove, meeting new and heightened expectations for safety and clearnliness. The UVD robot has won several prizes, among which recently the best COVID-19 response award and the European award euRobotics, Technology Transfer Award 2020, together with Odense University Hospital that originally tested and certified the safety and effectiveness of the robot.

Claus Risager, CEO of Blue Ocean Robotics and Chairman of the Board of UVD Robots, calls it a tremendous satisfaction to help combat the Corona virus around the world. “Thanks to the work that was kick-started by forward looking hospitals in the pre-commercial procurement, we are now ready to help solve one of the biggest problems of our time, preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses with a robot that saves lives in hospitals every day.

More info: UVD Robots is a portfolio company in Blue Ocean Robotics