The coronavirus pandemic has introduced us to a new way of life.

As businesses around the globe try to accommodate the newfound need for customer and employee safety in the face of this virus, technology has been a savior. From providing easy ways to meet remotely, to facilitating remote payment, to making it easy to place orders online, technology has enabled many aspects of business to stay far more functional than they would have in the pre-digital age. Many businesses were already dealing with some degree of automation, but the pandemic has forced hyper-speed digital transformation on nearly every business.

One of the most important ways to protect human health is limiting person-to-person exposure. Social distancing is one of our most crucial tools in the fight against spreading the virus, so robot technology is suddenly even more attractive, as robots don’t need to maintain their distance from people or each other.

While customers may prefer human interaction, in these unique and uncertain times robots are on the rise. 271,000 service robots were shipped in 2018, 60% more than in 2017.

Here are five examples of how robots are the new foot soldiers in the fight against COVID.

Brain-Powered Robots

Brain-powered robots are linked to the cloud, able to interpret digital commands and enact on them in the physical world. They have a variety of skills and applications, such as navigating public spaces to avoid colliding with people, and seamlessly interacting with customers while accessing cloud data. They limit customer interaction with humans while providing high-caliber service.

Ultra Violet Cleaning Robots

Disinfecting robots are used to sanitize hospitals and destroy coronavirus. China and Europe have ordered hundreds of them from Danish company UVD Robots, which rely on ultraviolet disinfection to kill coronavirus. This new company was perfectly poised to flourish during this global crisis. They introduced the UVD robot in 2018, and during a single day in February 2020, it sold more robots than in its entire first year of commercial viability.

Floor Cleaning Robots

Automated robotic floor cleaners are on the rise. San Diego-based Brain Corp is one provider of such tools, which save human employees from potentially working in close proximity with each other and transmitting the virus.

Shopping Robots

Shopping robots, in retail stores and wholesale warehouses, are picking product and filling orders. This is more efficient, keeps people appropriately separate, and frees up humans to keep workplaces clean.

Robotic Online Customer Service

Digital robots are performing more customer service tasks. Chatbots are taking over from human customer service. For example, 65% of Paypal’s message-based customer inquiries are now serviced by chatbots. Youtube is replacing human moderators with digital robotic moderators.

Robotic technology has never been more welcome or more essential. As people around the globe are radically narrowing their spheres of human contact, robots are ready and able to take over many of the functions we depend on to keep commerce, healthcare, manufacturing and more running.