Disinfecting the Planet

A Design From Scratch for Enlighten Robotics

Team Client Project
3 Week Design Sprint
UX/UI Consultant

What is Enlighten Robotics?

Enlighten Robotics was founded in direct response to the Coronavirus pandemic. In April 2020, they designed a robot that can disinfect pretty much anywhere that needs it using UVC lighting. Their current goal is to operate fleets of robots, assisting in the robots navigation as well as multiple robots at once. The software will also serve as a dashboard providing the operator with features such as data visualization, fleet management, and job selection.

The Problem? The current platform

The Enlighten Robotics operators cannot properly control and run the disinfection process because they are currently using a third-party platform that limits the operator’s ability to successfully complete their job and there to their goals in three ways:

  • Not allowing the operator to handle multiple robots at once
  • Does not provide mapping cababilties or live data feedback such as time disinfection completion
  • Does not have a dashboard that can manage jobs, fleets, or particular robots

The Solution? Start from scratch

If the operators have their own in-house platform with features such as wayfinding in the form of a facility map, the ability for each operator to control multiple robots, and implementing visibility of status in the form of live progress data, they will be able to control the robots and run the disinfection process while also collecting data that will be used to generate reports. As seen above, these low fidelity wireframes depict the new proposed platforms features:

  • Home page that features what the user would likely want to see right away as well as quick access to the jobs board and important data (Top Left)
  • Jobs preview page that provides necessary information before users begins the jobs (Top Right)
  • Control page that allows user to administer multiple robots at once as well as live progression data and feedback (Bottom Right)
  • Fleet overview section where user can analyze the individual performance of the overall fleet and invdividual robots (Bottom Left)

What I Researched

I was in charge of designing the control board as well as the research behind it. The obstacle here was that there are currently no competitors providing a platform that operates the way Enlighten Robotics wants a robotic system to operate. There is autonomous robots in Europe using UVC disinfection and man-operated UVC but not something controlled remotely. Knowing, that I had to look elsewhere. In a discussion with the CEO and CTO of Enlighten Robotics, they imagined their platform

The Importance of Thinking Outside the Box

Since there are virtually no direct competitors whom we could model off of, we had to improvise. We thought by looking at something with a control pad or joystick could prove useful, such as the home vacuum robot called Neato. Unlike some vacuums, users are able to control their robots from their phone; they can do it from anywhere.

The Overlay Made All the Difference

The current platform seemed a bit outdated in terms of its functionality. The screen on the middle right-hand panel is the entire view of what the robot sees. That's going to be a problem. Since Enlighten Robotics needed something more modern. By having the entire view of the robot’s feed should take up the entire screen with all the functionalities and important data is in overlay.

I used the gaming industry and drone software to back me up on my design decisions. They might be entirely different platforms but you might notice some features that they have in common:

  • Entire view is on screen everything else is an overlay to expand users view especially
  • Any information that is necessary for the user in real time such as time, inventory or battery life
  • Map or secondary view as overlay (typically expandable as an option)

The Final Design

Usability Test Insights

We performed one round of usability tests. All of the users were able to complete each task successfully. However, the targeted time I wanted them to finish it was a bit behind. There was one particular reason that took them so long; they were not sure that the queue in the top center of the screen in the photo above was clickable. You'll notice at the top of the screen there are two radio buttons that signify what robot the user is operating. We added those in to make it more clearer that it is indeed clickable.

Stakeholder Feedback

One of the most important things for the operator, according to the CEO, is being able to communicate with the custodial staff. This is because the custodian brings out the robot to it's respected cleaning location, and Therefore we added that feature in to the top right corner of the screen. Since the operator is not expected to work on site then the line of communication between the operator and the custodian.

My biggest takeaway

The industry Enlighten Robotics is tapping into is very niche and also new which means there is not a lot of research to cover. We had to go off of our assumptions which could be stressful especially when you are new to the industry. We couldn’t conduct a survey or do user interviews because there are virtually no users to interview.

View Prototype