Breezy One, the mobile robot that provides autonomous disinfection services at airports and other large facilities, now has a newborn, Breezy Blue, for disinfecting smaller, compact spaces, such as inside ambulances, school buses and classrooms.
Albuquerque-based Build with Robots publicly unveiled the new minibot Wednesday morning at its downtown headquarters, where company founder and CEO Chris Ziomek demonstrated the new technology to local media.
Like its older, bigger brother, Breezy Blue is connected to smart technology for automated service, with LED lights and voice alerts when the minibot begins its disinfection routine, spraying a benign mixture of household chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide to produce a light mist that settles over all the nooks and crannies in the enclosed spaces. It can be programmed remotely for a regular daily mist and turned on for additional spraying as needed.
“It’s a portable device that’s easy to set up and use,” Ziomek told reporters during the demonstration. “You can take it anywhere you want and leave it in an ambulance, a classroom or a door. You just push the button, the LED lights flash and it lights up.”
Unlike its older sibling, the Breezy One — which is a much larger, heavier, rectangular device programmed to roll autonomously on wheels around large rigs — the Breezy Blue is stationary. It weighs just 15 pounds – 23 pounds when filled with sanitizer – so users can pick it up with a handle on top to place it wherever needed.
And unlike the $50,000 price tag for the industrial service provided by Breezy One, the minibot costs just $2,500.
This attracts a much wider customer base than the original disinfection machine, which is currently located in about a dozen schools, at various airports, such as the Albuquerque International Sunport and at the University of New Mexico Pit. A total of around 20 Breezy One machines now regularly cycle through these locations for continuous disinfection.
In contrast, the company has pre-sold more than 80 units of the Breezy Blue since it began rolling out initial prototypes of the minibot for testing and customer use last summer.
“It’s now disinfecting the fire stations and ambulances in Rio Rancho,” Ziomek told the Journal. “The Albuquerque Ambulance Service and Arizona fire stations use it, and various schools disinfect their buildings and buses with it. Three different schools now have Breezy Blue in every classroom.”
McCurdy Charter School in Spain, for example, has ordered 33 Breezy Blues, which will begin arriving next week, said the school’s K-12 director of operations, Ian Maestas.
“We will deploy the first wave on all ground floors and the next wave on our second floors,” Maestas told the Journal. “We started with early models when the school year started in September. It streamlines everything, allowing us to disinfect areas without doing anything manually.”
McCurdy has more than 500 students spread across three buildings. In addition to having a module in each classroom, there will be modules in the school kitchen and on mobile trolleys for the changing rooms.
That brings peace of mind to teachers, Maestas said.
“They believe in them,” he said. “They use them regularly, say when a child coughs, to prevent the spread of germs.”
The disinfectant used in both Breezy bots — Breezy BioCare RTU — is based on a formula originally developed by Sandia National Laboratories and licensed by Arizona-based SpectraShield Technologies, which has partnered with Build with Robots to deliver the disinfectant as “ready-to-use “-use” or RTU formula that requires no mixing and has a long shelf life, Ziomek told the Journal. It is certified by the Green Clean Institute and approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency, with third-party laboratory tests showing 99.99% efficacy against coronavirus and many other pathogens.
“It fogs the whole area and gets on all the surfaces and fabrics in the room,” Ziomek said. “Sensors show that the disinfectant stays in the air for hours and continues to disinfect the room.”
Build with Robots collects data on school nurse office visits and total absences to measure the impact on reducing illness, said the company’s business development representative Christian Slough. A full year of data is needed at facilities now implementing the new Breezy Blue model, but schools already using Breezy One, such as St. Mary’s in Albuquerque, which first implemented it in early 2021, is showing significant benefits. “We saw trends for a 41 percent reduction in nurse office visits,” Slough told the Journal.
Build with Robots is an Albuquerque-born startup launched in 2017. To date, it has raised $6 million in local venture capital and currently has about 20 employees.
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