Seemingly every country around the globe is fighting a battle against the dangerous coronavirus. Public places need to be sanitized and disinfected like never before. Hotels can be an especially dangerous breeding ground for the virus. In an attempt to protect guests and staff, one hotel in Texas is turning to robots.
At the Westin hotel in the Houston Medical Center, Lightstrike germ-killing UV robots are helping to sanitize and disinfect. The hotel is using two units to help clean rooms and common areas. While robots are helping to disinfect hospital rooms, this is the country’s first use in hotels.
The Westin is surrounded by health and educational institutions such as Baylor, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann, and MD Anderson Cancer Center. Keeping it clean is essential for the safety of the guests and the surrounding area.
“We are the first hotel in the country to have adopted this technology. We disinfected the surfaces of all the bath amenities and we placed it in this bag. So when a guest arrives, they can open it and feel a sense of comfort that this was thoroughly disinfected,” said Archit Sanghvi, Vice President of Operations for Pearl Hospitality, the hotel’s owner and operator.
LightStrike Robots Use UV Light to Disinfect Hotel Rooms
The LightStrike robots come from San Antonio based Xenex Disinfection Services. They use intense germicidal UV light to disinfect rooms by quickly destroying microscopic bacteria and viruses that may be missed during the manual cleaning process. Operated by hotel staff, the robot uses pulsed xenon (a noble gas) to create intense broad-spectrum UV light, unlike older technologies that use mercury bulbs (mercury is toxic) to create continuous, single spectrum UV light.
Lighstrike robots can sanitize an entire room in as little as twenty minutes. After they are done, a report on the cleaning is submitted to a cloud for easy access.
“We are taking significant proactive measures, along with following CDC guidelines, to minimize risk while also keeping day-to-day business momentum. Wellness is at the core of our business and with the LightStrike technology, we saw a distinct and innovative opportunity to create a well-prepared environment for travelers within our hotel,” said Singh.
Using Robots Can Lessen Strain on Cleaning Staff
Using robots to clean places like hotels have multiple benefits. Artificial intelligence along with UV light can clean much more effectively than human workers. It also lightens the workload on already stressed cleaning staff and helps lessen their exposure to the virus.
“This is not to say humans do a bad job cleaning, but sometimes we miss things. Sometimes we don’t hit one extra spot on a table and that can be the spot where a bacteria or a virus can be so this is an extra layer of protection for guests,” said Sarah Simmons MD, Director of Science at Xenex Disinfection.
additional sources: Click2Houston