PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- As businesses work on plans to re-open or improve safety for employees and customers, some are turning to high-tech coronavirus-fighting tools.
At Storage Equipment Systems in Phoenix, a robot moves from one office space to another, demonstrating its ability to move autonomously through the building. With a special attachment, it can become the 'Smart Guard UV,' a $55,000 germ-killing robot, that according to its makers, uses UV light to attack bacteria and viruses.
"It will have a prescribed path, so it will get every nook and cranny," said Jim Radzik, the President of Storage Equipment Systems, a distributor of the product. "That technology is just snowballing. It’s rolling so fast."
According to Radzik, the Smart Guard UV robot can be used almost anywhere, including warehouses, offices, airports, schools and daycare centers.
"Having a place that is UV sterile would invite people back to the office," he said.
Some Arizona businesses are taking a different high-tech approach, using thermal cameras and artificial intelligence to spot fevers and non-compliance with PPE rules.
"The technology starts with real time fever detection," said Daniel Putterman, the CEO of Kogniz.
According to Putterman, the Kogniz system has been installed several Arizona businesses, including warehouses and distribution centers. The technology takes weather into account when checking temperatures, even the blistering Arizona heat.
"Your skin temperature can vary by up to seven degrees during the day, and so if you don’t factor that in, we could have readings that are all over the map and the concern is that we’re either missing people or were flagging healthy people," he said.
Putterman said the system can also track whether someone is wearing a mask when they're supposed to be. For some, the technology raises questions about privacy.
"The people that we’re working with, they’re putting up these systems because they’re trying to keep their office buildings healthy. That is their sole goal," he said. "They’re not trying to use it as an excuse to obtain new information about people, so I think it’s an important dialogue but I also feel like we’re all in this together and this is about keeping people healthy."
The cost of the Kogniz system starts around $10,000, and according to Putterman, the company is looking into ways to partner with schools and non-profits that may be on a tighter budget.