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Collaborative Robots and AGVs Show Advantages during Pandemic
COVID-19 and China
Image credit: Lukas/Unsplash.

In the current COVID-19 outbreak, there is a huge demand for disinfection services. According to news reports, due to a shortage of manpower, the working hours of cleaners have doubled to 16 hours a day. Researchers in Singapore have invented a disinfection robot that mimics human movements and can help reduce the burden of overworked cleaners during a pandemic.

This semi-automatic robot developed by researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore is different from other disinfection robots currently on the market. Most of the robots on the market cannot disinfect any objects with a special surface or above the ground. They are mainly used for cleaning and vacuum the floor surface, and this product solves this problem.

This product is called eXtreme Disinfection roBOT (XDBOT); it can be controlled wirelessly through a laptop or tablet, without the need for cleaning agents to make contact with the surface, thereby reducing the risk of infection from potentially contaminated areas. ‘XDBOT’ is a box-shaped work that looks like it is mounted on a wheel with a dexterous robot limb, and can reach inconvenient positions, such as under tables and beds. It is also a kind of Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV).

According to the latest results of statistical research on the AGV Industry Alliance, China‘s AGV market in 2019 reached CNY 6.175 (including industrial AMR), with an increase of 45.2% compared to 2018. There are over 18 companies whose revenue exceeded CNY 100 million. In 2019, the new volume of all AGV robot products was 33,400 units, which was an increase of about 12.8% compared with 2018. It is expected to reach CNY 12.58 billion in 2023.

Intelligent logistics provides a guarantee for the precise supply of manufacturing products. Logistics transportation is an indispensable important link in the manufacturing supply chain. The virus outbreak occurred around the Spring Festival and most logistics companies had already begun their vacations. Under such circumstances, regardless of whether it is the transportation of prevention and control materials or the transportation of manufacturing products, companies face huge challenges. At such times, unmanned logistics will give full play to its advantages and become a guarantee for the precise supply of manufacturing products.

Strengthening the unmanned logistics management in the production process of the manufacturing enterprise and when the goods are out of the warehouse is becoming a trend. This involves actively promoting the linkage between the manufacturing enterprise and the relevant departments, strengthening the automatic transshipment management of the terminal, the automobile shipping transit station and other places to deduce the sequence of capacity recovery, and guiding each link in the supply chain. Thus the production needs can be predicted.

In order to reduce losses after the pandemic, manufacturing companies will start rebounding production. At that time, the raw materials, parts, and workers will be the main concerns for the manufacturing companies. How to allocate personnel and raw materials to match the factory, equipment production, and how to reasonably allocate raw materials, parts, and personnel to various industries to ensure the perfect operation of the supply chain will become a problem for enterprises to consider.

Read more about EqualOcean's latest report about COVID-19 and China's businesses.

Editor: Luke Sheehan
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