NSTDA unveils app, virus-killing robot

NSTDA unveils app, virus-killing robot

The robot for health professionals helps fight against the Covid-19 disease.
The robot for health professionals helps fight against the Covid-19 disease.

The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) has ushered in a robot to kill viruses using ultraviolet (UV) light in its fight against Covid-19 as well as an app to track people at risk of contracting the coronavirus, allowing them to self-assess their health condition.

"Germ Saber Robot" was jointly developed by the NSTDA's National Security and Dual-Use Technology Centre (NSD) and Chulalongkorn University's Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering.

NSD director Siwaruk Siwamongsatham said the robot can kill the virus that causes Covid-19 with UV light.

The robot can be used in germ-tainted locations and people must vacate the site before the robot is operated to ensure they are not harmed by UV light, he said.

The remotely controlled robot can move in any direction, which makes it capable of working in all conditions at sites.

Mr Siwaruk says the robot can kill the virus that causes Covid-19 with UV light.

It comes with UVC light, which has a wavelength of 250 nanometres, making it highly effective in decontamination because it can destroy the DNA of viruses, bacteria, fungi and other germs.

Using the robot can save on costs for disinfectants and reduce the use of chemicals.

The robot, he said, can kill germs from droplets and those on the surface of equipment, such as electronics and medical devices, which are hard to disinfect using water or chemicals.

The sterilisation could take 15-30 minutes per spot with a radius of 1-2 metres.

NSTDA and its partners also rolled out DDC-Care mobile app to monitor and assess people at risk of contracting Covid-19. Its partners include the Department of Disease Control (DDC), Digital Government Agency (DGA) and Thammasat University.

Chularat Tanprasert, executive vice-president of NSTDA, said the app, which started use this month, will be useful for monitoring those at risk of contracting Covid-19.

Users will receive a URL link via SMS from DDC for subscription.

"They have to provide daily updates of their health conditions to the DDC," Ms Chularat said.

"The app has been tested on 173 people."

The app will be useful for those in self-quarantine for Covid-19, she said, while users will have their health condition monitored and receive help from medical personnel.

"All the patients' data will be kept confidential by authorities," Ms Chularat.

NSTDA also added a new feature to its app "Traffy Fondue" that will enable people to alert the authorities about people from risk areas who move into their areas.

The app usually serves as a communication channel between residents and city authorities, such as complaints about urban problems.

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