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Disinfectant robot ready to roll into COVID quarantine hotels

“This robot is the gold standard for doing that, in that it will kill every virus, because it’s a robot it’s not going to miss a place,” he said. “When someone checks out of a quarantine hotel you can send the robot in first and the robot can disinfect everything. So when the cleaner comes in the cleaner is not going to get COVID-19, because all the germs are already gone.”

Mr Wyatt said the use of the robot should help stop cases of COVID-19 leaking out of hotels through cleaners and hotel workers exposed to the virus.

“This is something that would absolutely prevent that from happening,” he said. “We certainly see it as something that would protect the cleaners and therefore protect the community accordingly.”

August Robotics is launching the robot that Mr Wyatt said was developed “at warp speed”, in Hong Kong, where the startup is based, and the company expects to launch it in Australia in the next two months.

“As a Melbourne boy and a proud Australian, Australia is the market I want to get to and we just need to overcome the travel issues,” Mr Wyatt said. “If I could get on a plane tomorrow, and come to Melbourne and launch it tomorrow, I would.”

August Robotics is demonstrating the robot to Australian hotel chains next month and wants to speak to government departments as well.

August Robotics Diego robot.

August Robotics Diego robot.

Ms Jackson, who heads up Skip Capital, said she invested in August Robotics because she was impressed by Mr Wyatt and “very excited” about the potential for the Diego robot.

“You need to open the door for the robot, but pretty much other than that the robot can navigate its way around the room clean the bedroom, clean the bathroom,” she said. “So you can feel safe travelling.”

August Robotics manufactures the robots on demand and provides them as a service. So instead of selling them to customers, the company charges customers an ongoing usage fee, which includes the cost of support and maintenance of the robots.

Mr Wyatt launched the startup in 2018 and while August Robotics’ first robot, Lionel, which marks lines for trade show exhibitions is “on pause” because of the pandemic-induced stoppage of trade shows, Mr Wyatt said it will be “back with a vengeance” once the the sector recovers.

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Rick Baker of Blackbird Ventures said the latest investment round, which brings the total invested in August Robotics to $17.5 million and values the startup at $US39.3 million, gives it “lots of capital” to expand and build the next cohort of robots.

“Their idea is to apply robots to dirty, dangerous and dull tasks which humans just have to do but don’t like doing,” he said.

“And the idea here is to build a suite of industrial tasked robots to complete these tasks.”

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