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Design of a robot for room sanitation

Sector: Automation Robots

Customer: Bioecology

Referent:
Ing. Mazza Luca
Ing. Pierluigi Chierici
Ing. Erik Levada
Ing. Riccardo Bonvicini

Category: Sizing, CAD Design, Software Automation, Risk Analysis

Bioecology, a company based in Reggio Emilia, has many years of experience in the world of Pest Control, and provides services relating to public and private hygiene with particular attention to the sanitization of environments, sanitary disinfection and sterilization.

As a consequence of the current health emergency COVID has become necessary to sanitize not only offices but much larger environments such as production areas, large warehouses, industrial warehouses and the idea born from Bioecology was to transfer this arduous task to a robot that could spread in an autonomous way in maximum safety different disinfectant solutions in a short time without human intervention.

From CAD design to robot automation

To software programming

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Asotech in collaboration with the client has designed the application of a sanitizing robot that would ensure the diffusion of the sanitizing liquid at a concentration controlled by an automatic system, controllable remotely via smartphone tablet or pc.

The robot designed has been developed on two units: the first positioned at the bottom and is an autonomous unit of product handling of OMRON that is able to transport the robot designed by Asotech safely and efficiently an upper unit weighing 90 kg, the robot moves by exploiting the characteristics of the existing area of the installation environment.

The robot placed on the upper unit has been entirely designed by Asotech: from its dimensioning, to its cad design, up to its automation and relative risk management: it is in charge of mixing air and disinfectant product, able to nebulize the active principle and diffuse it in the environment.

Asotech, in addition to the mechanical and plant engineering part, took care of the programming of the software necessary to communicate with the displacement unit, thus being able to remotely control the entire robot without the help of operators.

Energy management of a moving robot for sanitizing environments

Robot battery efficiency, peak management and robot weight containment

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One of the technical difficulties was that of having sufficient energy on board the robot to allow all the operations, consequently an innovative recharging system was chosen for this purpose, capable of optimizing consumption and managing the peaks of energy absorption during the pressurization phases of the system.

The containment of the weight of the robot designed by Asotech was another focal element of the project development, essential to minimize energy consumption.

A fundamental choice has been the choice of some electromechanical components such as precision flowmeters to allow an accurate dosage of the sanitizing liquid, the control and the feedback indispensable to guarantee the end user an adequate sanitization.

The solution adopted allows the measurement of very low flow rates (in the case of the disinfectant solution, about 0.4 liters/hour) being able to act in regulation both on the modulation of the flow rate and on the electronic regulation of the upstream pressure in the buffer tanks. The head of liquid present in the tanks is also continuously monitored and the control parameters are updated to take account of and compensate for changes in level in real time.

The system is designed to work properly even in the presence of non-conductive fluids. All parts in contact with the fluids are corrosion resistant.

Robot safety and risk analysis

Safe maintenance, charging and cleaning of the robot

Since the early stages great attention and research has been done on the safety and use of the robot because although its operation is autonomous it is always necessary an intervention by staff (in a reduced way) for the refilling of liquids, its maintenance and cleaning to be performed in maximum safety.

Bioecology and Asotech have collaborated efficiently in a project developed in close synergy between the teams and have involved both the area of plant engineering and software automation, the prototype will be tested in the field and optimized to be produced in series and then marketed, offering also a consulting service.

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