The global COVID-19 pandemic due to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has challenged the availability of traditional surface disinfectants. It has also stimulated the production of ultraviolet-disinfection robots by companies and institutions. These robots are increasingly advocated as a simple solution for the immediate disinfection of rooms and spaces of all surfaces in one process and as such they seem attractive to hospital management, also because of automation and apparent cost savings by reducing cleaning staff. Yet, there true potential in the hospital setting needs to be carefully evaluated. Presently, disinfection robots do not replace routine (manual) cleaning but may complement it. Further design adjustments of hospitals and devices are needed to overcome the issue of shadowing and free the movement of robots in the hospital environment. They might in the future provide validated, reproducible and documented disinfection processes. Further technical developments and clinical trials in a variety of hospitals are warranted to overcome the current limitations and to find ways to integrate this novel technology in to the hospitals of to-day and the future.

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Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control

Diab-El Schahawi, M. (Magda), Zingg, W. (Walter), Vos, M. (Margreet), Humphreys, H, Lopez-Cerero, L. (Lorena), Fueszl, A. (Astrid), … Presterl, E. (Elisabeth). (2021). Ultraviolet disinfection robots to improve hospital cleaning: Real promise or just a gimmick?. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, 10(1). doi:10.1186/s13756-020-00878-4