Robotic Activations, one of the robotic companies in the Philippines, recently launched a demonstration day for its newest "Keno," a UV-C disinfection robot. The robot's goal is to disinfect everyone entering a building while it moves all over the place. However, the demo day turned to tragedy as at least 10 people experienced eye irritation after using the technology.

Philippines robot made 10 people experience eye irritation

On Sunday, Sept. 20, a robotics company in the Philippines made a public demo of its ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection robot device called "Keno."

Unfortunately, after five to ten people complained of experiencing eye irritation due to the device, the demo ended unexpectedly.

CNN Philippines reported that the robotics company already apologized for the incident. As said, Robotic Activations had not yet exercised "enough precautions," which resulted in the victims having eye irritation.

"We sincerely thought we had exercised enough precautions when the press asked to switch the robot on, but it turns out we didn't," said Camille Anton, the company's chief of business development, on Sunday.

What can 'Keno' do?

Originally, the "Keno" robot device is meant to use for faster disinfection. It has a UV light built-in that can move around an area, thanks to the wheels below the whole structure. Its main objective is to disinfect everyone in a building that is said to kill harmful pathogens and is supposedly "equipped with state-of-the-art safety and precision sensors."

The company also boasts that its technology can disinfect large areas "without human exposure to chemicals."

Here's how this robot looks and works out:

 "We are extending our services to the city of Baguio free of charge primarily to help the city and to demonstrate how robotics can be an important ally in fighting COVID-19," says Anton in an interview before the incident. "Our aim is to increase the use of robotics and new technology in general as we move forward and ease into the New Normal. Disinfection is only one of the many applications of robotics, and we are working on bringing in other types of robots that will prove very useful as well."

Is UV light safe versus COVID?

Though the company seemed to have good intentions on the project, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend using UV rays to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

In fact, the WHO classified this act as a myth that should not be used or done with people. 

"UV radiation can cause skin irritation and damage your eyes," said agency. "Cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing your hands with soap and water are the most effective ways to remove the virus."

ALSO READ: COVID-19: UV Light Won't Cure Coronavirus; But Scientists Say It Could Disinfect Medical Gear

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Written by Jamie Pancho 

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