Robot uses UV light to kill the coronavirus by rupturing its DNA

A robot has been developed in Bahrain that eradicates coronavirus and other organisms by firing short-wave UV light at surfaces, disrupting their DNA.

The light is so powerful that experts believe it can kill up to 90 percent of all organisms exposed to it within 30 minutes, in a process known as ‘germicidal ultraviolet radiation’.

Designed by Fab Lab Bahrain, the machine is currently being tested in industrial environments before being released ‘as soon as possible’.

A spokesperson told MailOnline that the price will be available as soon as the machine goes on sale.

The invention follows the introduction of several other machines that use UV radiation to remove viruses from surfaces.

MIT in Massachusetts, USA, has developed a shortwave UV robot to clean surfaces at a food bank.

Denmark-based company UVD Robots also makes a UV light machine that treats rooms in up to 20 minutes and costs £ 53,370 ($ 67,000).

And the Chinese company Keenon Robotics has launched a robot that uses UV light and disinfectant to clean surfaces, priced at £ 32,300 ($ 40,000).

The robot has been tested in industrial environments and will be released very soon

The robot has been tested in industrial environments and will be released very soon

It kills the coronavirus and up to 90 percent of the other organisms exposed within 30 minutes

It kills the coronavirus and up to 90 percent of the other organisms exposed within 30 minutes

It kills the coronavirus and up to 90 percent of the other organisms exposed within 30 minutes

Video footage shows the prototype robot rolling between desks, chairs and computers, each illuminated with a powerful blue UV light.

People have to stay out of the room while it works, because the light is so powerful that it can also damage human cells.

UVD Robotics vice president Simon Ellison told it BBC that after treatment of a room, the machines leave a strange odor, just like burnt hair.

UV light kills the virus by disrupting the membrane, causing the DNA to break up.

“It is not surprising that UV light inactivates SARS-CoV-2,” said Paul Hunter, a professor at the University of East Anglia.

UV inactivates most viruses very efficiently. UV disinfection is indeed widely used for the disinfection of drinking water.

“Given the nature of coronaviruses, we would expect them to be particularly sensitive to disinfection by hypochlorite (bleach) or UV light.”

The developers said the machine should work alone, because the light is so strong that it can also damage human cells.

The invention follows the launch of machines in the US that use UV light to clean surfaces.  Shown is a building of the MIT lab cleaning a food bank in Massachusetts

The invention follows the launch of machines in the US that use UV light to clean surfaces.  Shown is a building of the MIT lab cleaning a food bank in Massachusetts

The invention follows the launch of machines in the US that use UV light to clean surfaces. Shown is a building of the MIT lab cleaning a food bank in Massachusetts

A Chinese company has also unveiled a robot that disinfects with UV light and sprays

A Chinese company has also unveiled a robot that disinfects with UV light and sprays

A Chinese company has also unveiled a robot that disinfects with UV light and sprays

Bahrain has already rolled out two robots with UV light in insulation departments in hospitals.

These machines are designed to speak 12 languages, monitor body temperatures, respond to staff voice commands, and use facial recognition to identify patients.

Dr. Waleed Al Manea of ​​the Bahraini Ministry of Health called these machines a “medical revolution.”

“We started using the robots in the isolation and treatment facilities as part of the experimental phase to use AI in the health sector,” he said.

“It is certainly a new medical revolution and we want to see what this will bring for patients and staff.

A robot with UV light disinfects SK Telecom's headquarters in South Korea

A robot with UV light disinfects SK Telecom's headquarters in South Korea

A robot with UV light disinfects SK Telecom’s headquarters in South Korea

The U.S. military has also purchased a pack of UV robots, depicted with their lights hidden underneath mannequins, which will be used to disinfect areas and equipment

The U.S. military has also purchased a pack of UV robots, depicted with their lights hidden underneath mannequins, which will be used to disinfect areas and equipment

The U.S. military has also purchased a pack of UV robots, depicted with their lights hidden underneath mannequins, which will be used to disinfect areas and equipment

“This new technology will help doctors and nurses evaluate the effectiveness of the robots and integrate their tasks into their daily work.”

In 2016, the NHS deployed its first robot to clean wards using UV light at Queen’s Hospital in Romford.

It is unclear whether more has been invested in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

CAN UV LIGHT KILL THE VIRUS?

A bus is disinfected in Shanghai, China

A bus is disinfected in Shanghai, China

A bus is disinfected in Shanghai, China

It has long been known that UV light has a sterilizing effect because the radiation damages the genetic material of viruses and their ability to replicate.

Most viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, are covered with a thin membrane that easily disintegrates from UV rays.

Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said, “It is not surprising that UV light inactivates SARS-CoV-2. UV deactivates most viruses very efficiently. UV disinfection is indeed widely used for the disinfection of drinking water.

“Given the nature of coronaviruses, we would expect them to be particularly sensitive to disinfection by hypochlorite (bleach) or UV light.”

Dr. Penny Ward, Chairman of the Education and Standards Committee of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine at King’s College London said, “UV rays and high heat are known to kill virus particles on surfaces, and coronavirus particles are no exception to this general rule.”

A robot that disinfects a surface with UV light is shown at Sk Telecom's headquarters in Seoul

A robot that disinfects a surface with UV light is shown at Sk Telecom's headquarters in Seoul

A robot that disinfects a surface with UV light is shown at Sk Telecom’s headquarters in Seoul

UV rays are present in sunlight, and scientists say that for this reason, there is a lower risk of catching the coronavirus outdoors than indoors.

Keith Neal, professor emeritus of epidemiology of infectious diseases, University of Nottingham, explained that sunlight damages DNA and RNA in the virus, which would kill it.

“How quickly it affects COVID-19 I haven’t seen work, but viruses left on surfaces outside will dry out and be damaged by sunlight from UV light,” he told MailOnline.

A study from Columbia University, published in Scientific Reports two years ago, found that UV light can kill more than 95 percent of pathogens such as the coronavirus.

There is no evidence of the sterilizing effects on SARS-CoV-2. But scientists say the technology will still work because the virus is closely related to others killed by the light.

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