US Airport Deploys ‘Robot’ Cleaners
Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) has teamed up with Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Robotics to deploy autonomous floor scrubbers that use UV technology designed to kill microbes in high-traffic areas.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, airports are searching for ways to enhance their cleaning methods and researchers believe UV-C rays, which have been used to sanitise hospital rooms for decades, can be applied in other high-traffic settings with similar results.
The partnership is the first step of an airport-wide strategy to deploy technology solutions and multi-layered cleaning processes to enhance the health and safety of travellers. The “PIT Safe Travels” Programme includes implementation of face coverings and installation of shields at check-in, social distancing signage, reconfigured seating at the gate and touchless transactions.
As a result of successful implementation, airport officials are looking at incorporating this UV disinfecting technology in additional ways, including on handrails of escalators, moving walkways, lift buttons and other high-touch areas. The aim of course is to ultimately increase cleanliness and help restore confidence in travelling.
Built by Danish firm Nilfisk, the self-driving robots were designed and manufactured by Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Robotics using AI and robotic systems that can map an area and then clean it without human help. The water requires a change after 2.5 hours and batteries recharged every six hours at the Robot Repair Shop.