German grocers turn to disinfection robots to combat COVID-19

UVD Robots Disinfection Supermarkets

OCC Commercial Consulting and UVD Robots entered into a global partnership to combat COVID-19 and high-risk pathogens commonly found in grocery, food service and retail environments. The partnership enables Germany-based OCC to deploy UVD’s disinfection robots to autonomously disinfect food and beverage retail spaces using germicidal UV-C lighting.

Initially, OCC Commercial Consulting will deploy UVD’s robots in Germany, but it is planning to expand into the rest of Europe. The companies claim the robots can kill more than 99.99% of microorganisms such as SARS-CoV 2 (coronaviruses) and E. Coli, providing a safe and secure environment for staff and customers.

“Disinfecting retail environments is the perfect job for UVD Robots as they can effortlessly navigate aisles after-hours.” said Claus Risager, CEO at Blue Ocean Robotics, the manufacturer of UVD Robots.

Based on preset schedules and mapped routes, UVD said its robots can decontaminate an estimated 700 square meters in about one hour. The company’s robots are sold in 60-plus countries worldwide, disinfecting educational campuses and facilities, the healthcare sector, airports, hotels, sports complexes, railways, shopping malls, food companies, cruise ships, pharmaceutical companies, and office complexes.

“We are excited to provide UV disinfection robots with autonomous mobility to a market in great need,” said Salvatore Orto, founder of OCC Commercial Consulting. “Supermarkets must make their employees and customers feel confident that all that can be done to keep them safe and healthy is being done.”

Based in Denmark, UVD Robots recently received the second order of 100-plus robots from the European Commission in September, following the first order of 200 robots in November 2020. In March 2021, UVD Robots deployed the largest fleet of disinfection robots to a school district in the U.S. It supplied the Gallup McKinley County Schools in New Mexico with 37 of its robots to disinfect 34 schools.

“We look forward to partnering with OCC to help the retail sector quickly address COVID-19 contamination concerns while supporting long-term strategies for more effective infection prevention,” said Per Juul Nielsen, CEO, UVD Robots.

Risager was a recent guest on The Robot Report Podcast. We discussed the evolution of Blue Ocean Robotics, the strength of Denmark’s robotics cluster, and the company’s early entry into disinfection robots before the COVID-19 pandemic. Blue Ocean won a 2020 RBR50 Robotics Innovation Award for its disinfection solution. Claus also tries to sell me on the benefits of telepresence robots. You can listen to the podcast with Risager below.

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Written by

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman is Senior Editor of WTWH's Robotics Group, cohost of The Robot Report Podcast, and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. Oitzman is a robotics industry veteran with 25-plus years of experience at various high-tech companies in the roles of marketing, sales and product management. He can be reached at