The Institute - September 2020 - TI13

Hyojeong Kim, a graduate
computer science student at the
University of Southern California
in Los Angeles, testing the robotic
arm in the school's lab

distancing. Due to the university's strict requirements, only two
people are allowed in the lab at
a time. This has made it difficult
to coordinate system development and integration of the different modules.
What is the potential
impact of the technology?

This technology will help speed
up the cleaning process of contaminated areas and dramatically reduce the need for workers
to be in close vicinity to the
How close are you to the
final product?

We are building a robotic platform to
improve human productivity, reduce risk
to workers, and ensure that the disinfection process is thorough.
What technologies are you using?

Our semiautonomous mobile manipulator,
the Agile Dexterous Autonomous Mobile
Manipulation System-UV, uses a UV light
wand mounted on a robotic arm and a UV
light source mounted on the base. Using a
gripper, the ADAMMS-UV robotic arm can
open drawers and closets, and manipulate
objects, to perform a thorough sanitization
of hard-to-reach surfaces.

there remotely. Cameras mounted on the
robotic arm help the operator navigate
the machine. A time-of-flight camera on
the robotic arm scans the surroundings
and uses infrared light to determine their
depth. With the information the robot collects, it then builds a 3D model of the area.
Using a graphical user interface we developed, the operator then gives the robot
instructions about what space to disinfect
or what object to move. The robot also computes a sequence of movements for the arm
and provides the operator with a preview.
The operator either gives the go-ahead to
begin the cleaning process or instructs the
robot to discard the motion and try again.


Explain how your project works.

A human operator-who is located away
from the contaminated area-controls
the ADAMMS-UV from a computer. The
operator either provides a goal position
for the mobile base to go to or drives it

What challenges have you faced,
and how did you overcome them?

Our biggest challenge was figuring out how
to make significant progress developing
this technology while also practicing social

We have a prototype and have
tested it in the lab. However, it
will require further testing and
validation to ensure the technology can be used in places such
as hospitals, hotels, and offices.
[Since April, a new feature has
been added to the robot. It can
now spray chemical disinfectants
on contaminated surfaces.]
How many people are
involved, and how many
are IEEE members?

There are 10 Ph.D. candidates and
postdoctorates involved in this
project. More than half the team
is made up of IEEE members.
This article originally appeared
online as "Robotic Arm Wields UV
Light Wand to Disinfect
Public Spaces."


SEP 2020


TI- 13


The Institute - September 2020

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