Gerald R. Ford Airport first in U.S. to test UV autonomous robot

The robot is the latest tool the airport has tested as it explores ways to effectively and efficiently fight COVID-19.

UV autonomous robot used at Gerald R Ford Airport to combat COVID-19

Gerald R. Ford International Airport has become the first airport test site in the U.S. for a new autonomous robot that disinfects using UV technology.

In addition to the robot, the Ford Airport is testing a comprehensive suite of tools that utilise UV technology, which works on a molecular level to destroy the microbiology of the virus. The suite includes a shoe disinfectant mat for guests, a pod that can be used to clean wheelchairs and luggage trolleys and a chamber for personal items such as phones, keys and tablets.

“As we researched holistic solutions to combat the spread of COVID-19, it became evident UV technology has been proven in other industries to kill the virus, so we made the decision to test it at the Ford Airport,” said Tim Haizlip, Director of Maintenance. “As an airport, we’re focused on both innovation and a superior guest experience, so this technology could be a natural fit for us.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the results of this new UV technology as yet another method to ensure our guests feel comfortable and secure during their travel through Ford Airport.”

The products emit a light spectrum of 254 nanometres, which kills COVID-19 and other viruses such as the common cold.

Products currently being tested include:

  • The UVD Robot, which will be used in areas such as baggage claim and the security checkpoint, is the world’s first fully autonomous mobile platform for UV technology. The robot effectively kills 99.99 per cent of bacteria, viruses and fungi or pathogens by emitting concentrated UV-C light onto high-, medium- and low-touch services. Its autonomous nature allows the robot to move without human interaction. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes to disinfect a room and doesn’t use any chemicals.
  • The UVC Footwear Sanitizing Station, which is the first and only proactive disinfection solution to use a combination of ozone and UV-C light, will allow guests to sanitise their shoes in just eight seconds.
  • A UCV Pod for sanitising wheelchairs and luggage trolleys allows for quick disinfection so the units can be put back in rotation for guests.
  • A UVC Chamber that will allow guests to disinfect their phones, tablets, keys and other personal items with the help of the airport team.

The Ford Airport recently introduced its new Fly Safe. Fly Ford. campaign to educate travellers on new precautions for their health and to restore confidence in air travel. The airport has established a number of new safety measures that travellers will see as they make their way from the parking garage to the jet bridge.

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