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Tempe company creates sanitizing robot to minimize hospital infections

PHOENIX — Step aside R2-D2, there’s a new robot in town, ready to disinfect the Dark Side.

Nimbus is a sanitizing robot that puts Roomba to shame.

It’s controlled by tablet and only about the size of a mini-fridge but can clean every surface of a room in just 30 minutes.

“Nimbus is designed to disinfect a patient room or a procedure room by ‘fogging’ our EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant into these areas,” Ernest Cunningham said.

Cunningham is president of the Tempe-based company, Nevoa Inc., which created Nimbus.

“The fog contacts 100% of the surfaces in the room, disinfecting all of the surfaces without human interaction,” he said. “After the fogging process is complete, Nimbus has a special, built-in filtration system, which rapidly removes the fog from the room and allows patients to re-enter the room immediately.”

Nevoa says lab testing has shown Nimbus to be 99.99% effective against COVID-19 and other viruses.

While this seems like a particularly helpful tool during a global pandemic, Nimbus was created at the end of 2019 with the intention of removing human error in disinfecting.

“Typically, today a hospital uses manual cleaning practices where they actually go in and have to wipe the surfaces manually,” Cunningham explained. “This is very time-consuming, and as the CDC states, typically about 50% of the surfaces don’t get disinfected or cleaned at all.

“So now when you introduce a technology such as Nimbus into the environment, without having that human interaction, we can avoid all those human inefficiencies and we can disinfect those surfaces 100% of the time.”

Cunningham said this is especially important when you consider the CDC estimates about 1 in 31 hospital patients will contract Healthcare-Acquired Infections.

Nimbus is currently being used by Banner Hospitals across the Valley and other hospitals across the country.

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