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Amid frenzied pandemic prevention efforts, Shenzhen officials expedite Youibot’s sanitizing robot
Hannah DeTavis
Youibot virus-fighting robot
Youibot CEO Cody Zhang claims that his team of engineers built a virus-fighting robot in two weeks. Source: The New York Times

As the COVID-19 pandemic ramps up, government officials have expedited the regulatory process for essential personal protective equipment and sanitation technology. Among those companies getting a faster green light is HAX’s Youibot, a company specializing in autonomous mobile robotic solutions. Over a two-week span, Youibot engineers built an antivirus robot that sanitizes the floor with six ultraviolet light bars. An infrared camera can also scan people in public spaces for fevers.

Shenzhen officials, who have prioritized “epidemic prevention” products for regulatory approvals, have rushed to get the Youibot’s sanitation robot certified. Weeks into the COVID-19 outbreak, a senior city official even paid the Youibot offices (along with other startups) a high-profile visit to help organize a media campaign on how the city is making outbreak-related changes.

This effort allowed Youibot to push its sanitation robot to market within a month, bringing the robot to a subway system in Guangzhou.

“It happened in just a blink,” Youibot’s marketing director Keyman Guan told the New York Times.