Every surface in hospitals can be sanitized using “MoVer-1”, a mobile robot that can play a valuable role in the second phase of the fight against Covid-19 emergency.  Today, mobile robots are deployed to safeguard public health, protect hospital personnel and patients. This month, a team of researchers coordinated by Filippo Cavallo, the founder of Sant’Anna School spin-off company Co-Robotics, have been working to retool the robot with UV-C lights to perform disinfecting tasks, reduce and prevent the spread of infectious microorganisms.

The project “MoVer-1” received funding from the Fondazione Marmo di Carrara through the Sant’Anna School Philanthropic Foundation Il Talento all'Opera. Starting today in Massa Heart Hospital “G. Pasquinucci” - Fondazione Toscana Gabriele Monasterio, “MoVer-1” will show its effectiveness through tests involving all kinds of bacteria and viruses.

 Consistent with the Sant’Anna School third mission activities, this robotic application is an important technology to assist patients and workers as well as minimize risks associated with the exposure to infected environments. To encourage public and private measures in  response to  the Covid-19 pandemic, this closer relation between the Fondazione Marmo di Carrara and the Philanthropic Foundation Il Talento all'Opera will enhance the resilience of the healthcare sector and strengthen its capacity to reduce the risk into hospitals.

The four-wheel teleoperated robot “MoVer-1” can quickly and safely disinfect hospital rooms with UV light. The robot can move over every surface and the operator can control the UV light right time and intensity at any time to avoid adverse health effects depending on the duration and the wavelength.  Coronavirus on a surface can be killed when exposed to UV light of sufficient intensity for an appropriate amount of time. Researchers of the spin-off company Co-Robotics claimed that “MoVer-1” can change our negative perceptions about service robots as it will be in the front-line battle against Covid-19.

Sabina Nuti, Rector of Sant’Anna School, said: “We are very proud of  being a leading contributor to philanthropic campaigns in Pisa and in Tuscany communities for reshaping priorities and strategies for the next phase of Covid-19 crisis. This project has demonstrated that robotics research can play a pivotal role in this health emergency. The challenge for us is to expand the practices that emerged during the pandemic.”

Paolo Dario, as the Rector’s Delegate for Third Mission activities, said: “Today, universities have adopted a more results-driven and rigorous approach to research and education activities. We have launched community-based projects for economic growth and sustainable development. Philanthropy and the Third Mission can address the issues exacerbated by this crisis over a longer term. The ‘Samaritan’ project starts from research results published in prestigious journals and accelerates the pace and volume of robotics innovation. Institutional philanthropy and foundations Fondaz,ione Marmo di Carrara and the “Il Talento all’Opera”, increased their engagement as the pandemic demands an extraordinary response. We were happy our mobile robot could interact in healthcare settings such as the Heart Hospital “G. Pasquinucci” - Fondazione Toscana Gabriele Monasterio. We believe we can build supportive relationships with other organizations who protect our communities."

Gina Giani, as the President of the Foundation “Il Talento all’Opera”, said: “In Pisa, our most recently established Philanthropic Foundation  ‘Il Talento all’Opera’  is strongly committed to contributing to research projects that enhance the quality of life in our communities. This project ‘Samaritan’ can play a valuable role in the second phase of the Covid-19 emergency. The pandemic response has demanded a different approach at the national and local levels to deploy funds rapidly, through collaborative funding initiatives. We were able to provide support to hospitals working to prevent the effects of COVID-19.”

Anselmo Ricci, a representative of the Fondazione Marmo di Carrara, said: “Our Fondazione Marmo is happy to partner with two of the most vital institutions in Tuscany - Sant’Anna and the Ospedale Pediatrico Apuano. We have the expertise and the capacity to manage emergency responses and local resources mobilization so we are confident this project can serve as the basis for further development in Tuscany community. We are investing in the future of our community: capacity building, social intelligence, and solidarity economy can be used to leverage internal and external resources.”

Marco Torre, director general of Fondazione Monasterio, said: “The project ‘Samaritan’ demonstrates how robotics innovation can respond to areas of concern that hospitals and healthcare workers may have. Moreover, I would like to thank the Fondazione Marmo for promoting community solidarity on a more substantive level”.