Robots Doing Good - Part 1
Two examples of robots that are doing good in the world are EMILY, a lifeguard robot being used in many types of rescue operations, and LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots, which are being used to reduce the incidence of healthcare associated infections in hospitals.
- Hydralonix is an Arizona-based company that developed and produces the Emergency Integrated Lifesaving LanYard (EMILY) robot. EMILY is a lifeguard robot that can go places that would be dangerous for human lifeguards.
- There are several models of EMILY, including ones designed for use in oceans, flooded river rescues, night rescues, and sonar models.
- According to Anthony Mulligan, the owner of Hydralonix, an EMILY robot is deployed 1.5 times per day.
- Los Angeles County lifeguards use EMILY to corral swimmers away from riptides, and they believe that this eliminates hundreds of rescues from having to occur.
- In 2016, EMILY aided in the rescue of hundreds of asylum seekers during the European migrant crisis.
- In July 2019, EMILY rescued four swimmers off the Oregon coast after two boys were caught in a rip current and two family members attempted to save them.
- When Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas in 2019, EMILY was utilized by a relief boat to find underwater hazards that could interfere with the relief boat reaching the shore. EMILY had sonar and sensors that allowed for the identification of any hazards and the relief boat was able to reach the island within two hours.
LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots
- LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots were developed by Xenex and provide a disinfection system that is being used in hospitals around the world to reduce the incidence of healthcare associated infections (HAI). LightStrike utilizes Pulsed Xenon ultraviolet light, which is unique because it provides a range of germicidal ultraviolet light (UV) that includes both UV-B and UV-C.
- Over 400 hospitals are using LightStrike Robots. The robots work by providing zaps of UV light that cover "the full germicidal spectrum." The robots can disinfect an entire room in 5-20 minutes and are more effective than humans, who can miss spots.
- HAIs kill the same number of people each year as the number who die "from AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined," and cost the healthcare industry about $30 million per year. LightStrike reduces infection rates by up to 70% or more.
- The robots are used in conjunction with human disinfecting and are deployed after a room has gone through an initial disinfecting by normal methods.
- Hunterdon Medical Center implemented the use of LightStrike Robots in the second half of 2017. Superbug infection rates were reduced by 76% from the first half of 2017 to the second half, after LightStrike use began.
- A study conducted at the Mayo Clinic, the results of which were published in the American Journal of Infection Control in 2018, found that the use of LightStrike Robots reduced the rates of Clostridium difficile infection from 28.7 per 10,000 patient days to 11.2 per 10,000 patient days.