Amazon has had a busy few months. Whether the mega e-retailer is supplying Americans with much-needed deliveries of critical goods, or defending itself from criticism over the way it's handled COVID-19 within its own facilities, there is rarely a quiet day for Jeff Bezos and crew.
Well, you can add another item to Amazon’s to-do list: invent COVID-killing robots.
In a recent 60 Minutes report, Amazon shared a video showing its latest creation: an autonomous 4-wheeled contraption covered in UV bulbs. According to the report, the vehicle is just one of the ideas Amazon is testing that could eventually help kill the virus in Whole Foods stores and Amazon warehouses by blasting them with “mobile ultraviolet sanitation.”
While these machines are not currently in use, Amazon says it is “excited about the possibilities.” According to a followup report in Business Insider, scientists have for years been studying how UV light can impact viruses. Some studies suggest the light can stop the genetic material in viruses from reproducing.
Light-wielding devices like Amazon’s could be used by many businesses to kill germs on surfaces, but it won’t be cheap. While there are no cost figures available on the Amazon-developed device, one scientist estimated the cost of outfitting an average Walmart with necessary UV lights would be in the $100,000 range.