Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
The use of ultraviolet-C (UVC) radiation for disinfecting high contact surfaces in areas with a high risk of transferring infection causing bacteria and viruses such as hospitals is a growing practice that has proved to be more effective than currently used disinfection methods. Current practices of hospital room disinfection via UVC radiation include running a stationary UVC source for a large amount of time in a space to allow all surfaces to receive the radiation dosage required to eliminate the targeted surface-dwelling pathogens. This method relies on either passively reflecting rays around a room to achieve adequate disinfection of hidden surfaces or a member of hospital staff to reposition the UVC source in hidden areas (such as a bathroom or closet).Automated mobile robots (AMRs) are currently widely being adopted for repetitive tasks in the healthcare industry. The coupling of a UVC radiation source with an automated mobile robot would allow for the radiation source to autonomously traverse a hospital room in order to actively disinfect surfaces rather than relying on a stationary source to passively disinfect them. Additionally, by leveraging non-convex optimization techniques, the UVC source would be able to optimally navigate a hospital room, which would result in more efficient disinfection times than the currently used method. Additionally, the possible increase of efficiency in the disinfection of hospital rooms could lead to significant reductions in turnover time. This paper investigates the promotion of a safer hospital environment through the use of autonomy in the pursuit of achieving this goal.
Sousa, Christopher Lee, "Promoting a Safe Hospital Environment Through Autonomy" (2021). All Theses. 3577.