BayCare enlists germ-fighting robot to help fight COVID-19

Rosie the Robot from the 'Jetsons' cartoon has competition with Tru-D, a 5-and-a-half-foot-tall germ-fighting robot

Tru-D is BayCare Health System’s latest tool to fight COVID-19 and keep patients safe. Tru-D stands for total room ultraviolet disinfection and that’s exactly what it does.

You might say Tru-D lights up any room she’s in. The robot uses 28 ultraviolet bulbs to blast any hospital room with UV-C light, breaking down infectious cells or germs and blocking them from reproducing, which makes people sick.

Dan Bennett, director of environmental services for St. Joseph’s Hospitals said, “Those sensors are measuring to make sure every single nook and cranny in that room gets the measured lethal dose.”

When Tru-D works, she works alone. She can take up to 30 minutes to disinfect any area, but she can’t do it all.

“It does not replace your manual cleaning that has to happen,” Bennett explained. “UV-C cannot penetrate anything greater than three strands of hair.” 

Bennett said patients get a kick out of Tru-D and some hospital staff even came up with fun nicknames for her such, as the other famous robot R2-D2. One hospital team calls the robot Dan in honor of Bennett.

But what doesn’t change is Tru-D’s lethal attack on our latest invisible enemy. 

BayCare Health System has 31 robots to help disinfect their hospital rooms, surgery rooms and ICU.