'The stakes have changed:' Entertainment productions, hotels lean into robotic technology to help keep things clean, safe, disinfected during COVID

Robots roll into help save the day and help disinfect areas in many different businesses.

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Thursday, December 3, 2020
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A recent study showed only half of all surfaces are adequately cleaned by humans. Enter robots! New technology is being utilized be many different work places to help keep things clean and safe in the wake of COVID-19

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- No matter how hard we try, a recent study showed only half of all surfaces are adequately cleaned by humans. 10 years ago, Xenex created a robot that uses a high intensity germicidal light to kill super bugs in hospitals where nearly two million Americans develop a hospital acquired infection every year.

"The stakes have changed," said Mark Stibich, Founder, and Chief Scientific Officer. "Bacteria, viruses, SARS, CO v2, they've never developed resistance on it, because it doesn't naturally occur on earth. So they've never been exposed to this light before."

Even before COVID, in the summer of 2019, LAPD began using Xenex robots to disinfect facilities like the substation next to skid row. And the technology continues to expand in non-healthcare settings.

The Beverly Hilton uses Light Strike to make guests confident they are staying in a COVID-free environment.

"Our whole goal is to add layer upon layer to make it the safest environment possible," said Michael Robertson, Hotel Manager. "We've taken the Hilton Clean Safe Program and added on to it. We have the robot as the last one to leave the room so that's the added level of security."

ZoneStrike is a new company that feels Xenex technology is the perfect solution for the entertainment industry.

"Every minute counts, when you're a filmmaker, when you're a camera operator, when you're a DP," said Chris Cuthbert of ZoneStrike.

There are existing protocols in place to disinfect sets, but ZoneStrike allows for the sets to be cleaned throughout the day in minutes without having to touch any surface for cleaning. The room even smells clean.

"We can go in with two robots and clean about 5000 square foot stage in about 45 minutes," said Cuthbert. "So typically, that would be you know, upwards of four to six hours with a fogger or a mop and bucket crew."

"The light lets us disinfect all those areas without disturbing them or even moving them at all," said Stibich. "So the set the set prep people, the set designers can get it exactly how they want. And then the light can just be rolled in and make it perfect."

And for disinfecting costumes or any handheld item like cameras or lights, a disinfection pod wipes out viruses in seconds. For Michael Blevins who just opened Cinema Town Studios four months ago, ZoneStrike is able to help meet a critical safety need.

"If we can't stay safe on set, we don't get to work. So it is a huge priority for every single person. Crew members, A-list celebrity take this very seriously," said Blevins. "But I'm excited that ZoneStrike is entering the game. And we're going to be able to see what that does to shake things up."