Pittsburgh Airport introduces autonomous ultraviolet light-equipped cleaning robots

Developed in conjunction with Pittsburgh firm Carnegie Robotics, Nilfisk’s Liberty SC50 Autonomous Scrubber/Dryer is a commercial-grade, fully autonomous, robotic floor-cleaning machine. (Photo: Beth Hollerich-Pittsburgh International Airport )

Pittsburgh International Airport (IATA: PIT) has announced the implementation of autonomous cleaning robots which clean by using ultraviolet (UV) light technology. It’s a first for US airports and may provide a glimpse into what transportation hubs might look like once we are travelling again.

The airport described the machine as a “germ-killing robot” which is designed to eliminate microbes in high-traffic areas, increasing cleanliness and thereby helping to restore confidence in travel. It explained that what makes these robots particularly special is the integration of UV light that augments their traditional cleaning tools.

Developed in conjunction with Carnegie Robotics, the airport said these “autonomous scrubbers” are the only such third-party safety-certified machines in the world. Their certification process was approved by the American National Standards Institute that ensures safe operation in public spaces.

This airport said its partnership with Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Robotics 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 the travelling public. The technology is designed to kill microbes in high-traffic areas, increasing cleanliness and helping to restore confidence in travelling. Airport officials are looking to incorporate UV disinfecting technology in additional ways, including the sterilisation of the handrails on escalators and moving walkways, plus elevator buttons and other high-touch areas.

Pittsburgh Airport CEO, Christina Cassotis, commented: “The health and safety of airport staff and the travelling public are always the top priorities.

“We know that restoring confidence in travel is going to be key to the industry recovery. That’s why we’re partnering with world-leading Pittsburgh technology companies to help develop solutions.”