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Breezy Blue fogs classroom

When Robots Adapt: The Story of St. Mary’s School

St. Mary’s Catholic School, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been a safe and trusted learning environment for students for over 100 years. From preschool to eighth grade, the students of St. Mary’s are receiving a strong foundation for the rest of their education. With passionate teachers and a forward-thinking principal, these children are given great opportunities despite any circumstances - even a global pandemic.

In 2020, many schools had to switch to fully remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither teachers nor students were prepared for this, and as a result, proficiency in math and reading dropped across the US in the following years. During the 2020-2021 school year, St. Mary’s was determined to stay open consistently because they knew that students learned best through face-to-face time with their teachers.

The Age of Breezy One


In late 2020, Principal Rebecca Maestas-Sanchez connected with Chris Ziomek, CEO of Build With Robots, to find the solution that could prevent closing St. Mary’s. Ziomek presented her with Breezy One, the autonomous disinfecting robot, and it was a great fit. Disinfecting daily was a laborious task, but Breezy One could do it quickly and efficiently, with no room for human error. The students nicknamed the robot Macrina, after the Patron Saint of Robotics, and the school even dressed the robot in the St. Mary’s uniform! Over the next few years, Macrina kept the students and staff of St. Mary’s safe and healthy, with nurse visits dropping by 55% and absenteeism dropping by 18%. Principal Maestas-Sanchez was happy with these results, especially since the data compared the winters of 2019 to 2021, or pre-pandemic to pandemic times. Most schools would see an increase in nurse visits and absences, but daily disinfecting with Breezy One made a difference in keeping kids healthy.

St. Mary’s continues to be a safe school for students and staff. Breezy One disinfects with a 99.99% pathogen elimination rate, and the robots were used every day to ensure the germs did not have enough time to grow and recontaminate the classrooms, cafeteria, and gym. Breezy One was effective, but St. Mary’s ran into some issues. The first custodian was happy with it and called Breezy One his “favorite tool.” However, custodial staff have a high turnover rate, and with every new custodian that came into St. Mary’s, a new person had to be trained on how to use it. While Breezy One is not particularly difficult to use, not everyone is open to new technology. Doors need to be opened and a path must be clear for Breezy One to operate, and this can become frustrating. Custodial positions are hard to fill, and in times without a janitor, Principal Maestas-Sanchez herself had to be in charge of sending Breezy One on its routes.

From One to Blue

Although Breezy One was working well, Principal Maestas-Sanchez was grateful when Build With Robots approached her with a simpler tool: Breezy Blue, the disinfecting minibot. Breezy Blue uses the same fogging technology and disinfectant as Breezy One, so 99.99% of pathogens are still being eliminated. The difference is that, while Breezy One is autonomous and strolls from room to room, Breezy Blue is stationary. It can become a fixture of a room, or it is small enough to be carried or wheeled on a cart to get to each room.

BB in classroomBreezy Blue is often referred to as Breezy One’s little sibling. Like most younger siblings, Breezy Blue is smaller, more easygoing, and cuter (though that might just be my opinion). Easygoing refers to how much easier it is to use, especially in the way that St. Mary’s has chosen to set them up. Every classroom has its own Breezy Blue, so the minibots never have to move. No one even needs to press the button, because, with the wireless Smart Controller, each minibot has been programmed to go off in the middle of the night.

Breezy Blue is also easygoing because it is open to other methods of operation. As previously mentioned, the minibot fogger can be wheeled on a cart to disinfect several rooms with just one unit. In addition, Breezy Blue has a push-button mode, so a teacher could press the button and leave their classroom before it starts to fog. These different options are what makes Breezy Blue appealing to many different industries, such as education, first responders, and more.

“The Breezy One robots were a great addition to St. Mary’s at the beginning of 2021,” says Principal Maestas-Sanchez. “Now, I’m really glad to be switching to the new Breezy Blue minibots. With one in every classroom and office, the task of disinfecting is off my plate, but I know my students and staff are still safe.”

Breezy One is an independent and responsible older sibling, capable of moving across a school and disinfecting every classroom. However, in the case of St. Mary’s, they wanted to hang out with an easygoing minibot like Breezy Blue. Principal Maestas-Sanchez can now skip disinfecting a single room if needed, and the nurse can disinfect after every student comes in, if that makes her more comfortable. These added options make a big difference, and Build With Robots is glad to keep the staff safe and happy at St. Mary’s Catholic School.

Our Robots Adapt

Technology is constantly evolving and improving, and companies like Build With Robots need to alter and adapt their products to fit their customers’ needs. Breezy One is well suited for many schools, airports, and arenas, but even places with large open areas typically have smaller offices hidden somewhere. When Breezy One cannot maneuver an area, Breezy Blue can always squeeze in. Similarly, where Breezy Blue cannot reach, Breezy One can step up and cover for its little sibling. Each facility comes with different needs and challenges, which is why we offer two automated disinfection options. As human needs adapt, so will the functions of our robots.