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The Use of UVC to Combat COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Art by Sofia Miller

As the coronavirus rapidly spread globally, many countries were forced to go into a state of quarantine for all of their citizens. As such, human to human contact has been very limited, and many people have been scared to online order food, goods, and products because they know the quickly spreading virus can be anywhere. The development of AIs and robots allowed for another method of transportation of online ordered goods, creating a vision in which these robots can continue to help in the near future. One major form of technology that has been implemented to help stop this COVID-19 pandemic is the use of UV light that could potentially prevent the virus from replicating. Through the use of different forms of technology, people attempt to fight this pandemic head on.

Lindsay Kalter states, “The coronavirus pandemic has breathed new life into decades-old techniques that can zap viruses and bacteria: ultraviolet light.” UVC light is just one of the three different types of UV rays that come from the sun, however, it is filtered by the ozone before it reaches the Earth, protecting us from the negative consequences that can be brought to human beings from exposure to UVC light. According to Jim Malley, UVC light has a great amount of potential, however it can bring permanent damage to a large number of people (Kalter, 2020). Because many people have shown interest in this new idea, many larger companies, such as Amazon, have released their small ultraviolet light robots, which were made to be used in warehouses and stores. Another possible idea that has been showcased was the one about a handheld device with UVC light that can be used to scan areas to kill viruses, however this method hasn’t been proven to work and is very expensive although there are so many risks. These solutions using UVC light have not been proven to be able to successfully combat the virus that causes the COVID-19 symptoms, however, it has been effective in killing similar viruses, which gives some people hope that this solution could be successful. Although the potential is great, many germicide experts doubt the safety of this substance being used in homes, therefore many recommend to not invest money in UV products quite yet. The space that is left for error is way too big, and affordable products are practically useless (Kalter, 2020).

UVC is one of the methods that hospitals are using to combat this rapidly spreading virus, and one of the ways they implemented it into hospitals is through robots, like Violet. Violet is an AI that was created to be able to help stop the spread of this coronavirus through special tinkering to be compact, portable, and protective. Robots like Violet can be placed in “front lines” and could help to assist health care workers and patients without the high risk of spreading this infection. The urgency of the situation forced Akara to quickly come up with a prototype and build it as efficiently as possible, while still keeping the safety of the people in mind. Michael Ryan slightly disagrees with Lindsay Kalter in the way that he believed that although people fear the amount of error in a decision, the greatest error would be to not make any moves to help stop this expanding pandemic (Purtill, 2020).

Through the use of robots like Violet and the use of handheld UV lights that are being created, the human population is one step closer to stopping this fierce virus. Many germicide experts and engineers are working efficiently and rapidly in order to create both new prototypes and ideas that could potentially help to completely stop this pandemic and allow for the rest of human society to be able to start to go back to the “normal” way of life as before.



Kalter, L. (2020, May 19). Coronavirus puts UV in the disinfectant spotlight. Retrieved June 1, 2020,from


Purtill, C. (2020, April 24). Meet Violet, the robot that can kill the COVID-19 virus. Retrieved June 1, 2020, from

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