ATTLEBORO, Mass (WPRI) — Students in Attleboro will return to the classroom next week, but before they do, the district is deploying a new sanitation tool designed to keep schools cleaner than ever.
Marc Furtado, director of finance for Attleboro Public Schools tells 12 News the district will be utilizing a robotic disinfecting system to quickly and efficiently clean classrooms and other high-traffic areas.
The ADIBOT, designed by global robotics leader UBTECH, comes equipped with UV-C technology, which quickly disinfects the air and surfaces within the robot’s reach.
“You put this in an 800-square-foot space and it will disinfect everything the light touches,” Furtado explained.
Furtado said Attleboro is the first district in Massachusetts to utilize disinfecting robots to clean their school buildings.
“We were struggling with finding ways to ensure that we were able to fully disinfect our areas during the pandemic,” Furtado said. “The fact that we have employed these robots shows that we have a mindset where we’re willing to consider anything that improves the life of staff and students.”
The district purchased 10 disinfecting robots: one for each of the city’s nine schools and an additional one for the high school. Furtado said the district utilized COVID grant funding to purchase them.
The UV-C technology is said to inactivate 99.9% of all viruses, bacteria and harmful pathogens, including MRSA, influenza and the coronavirus.
“It lessens our dependency on chemicals, which is another huge benefit for the schools,” Furtado said. “Our staff, who are incredibly focused on the health and well being and safety of our students, are excited about it … it provides us with that sense of relief.”
Furtado said the robots will prevent school buildings from being shut down for days at a time for a thorough cleaning if a COVID outbreak were to occur.
“We can go into high-risk areas, like a nurse’s office or a classroom that has a positive test result, and disinfect the whole area in three minutes,” Furtado said.
The disinfecting robots are not only for schools. ADIBOTs have been used in hospitals, medical facilities, hotels, offices, fitness centers and on public transportation.