Florida’s Key West International Airport has come up with an ingenious way of trying to combat COVID-19 with the introduction of an ultraviolet disinfection robot that started patrolling the airport’s interior spaces on 15th December.
This clever robot emits high-intensity ultraviolet UV-C wavelength light that kills harmful pathogens both in the air and on surfaces.
The robot was developed by UVD Robots, and is designed to remove 99.9 per cent of pathogens including COVID-19. Key West’s airport is one of the first airports in the United States to get their hands on one of these sophisticated robots that provides effective non-chemical disinfection.
Richard Strickland, who is director of airports for the Florida Keys’ Monroe County said that the acquisition of the robot was motivated by a desire to augment the airport’s other cleanliness and passenger protection practices to safeguard against coronavirus:
“Passengers should know that as they travel to Key West International Airport and utilise the facilities here, we’ve made every effort possible against COVID-19 to protect passengers’ safety. And now, with the ultraviolet light robot that we have here, we’ll be able to step that up even another notch.”
The robot is nearly six feet tall and weighs over 300 pounds. It is able to move around the airport autonomously once it has been programmed and “mapped” spaces. A human operator will make sure people are well away from areas inside the airport before the robot goes about its sanitisation process and monitors its progress via an electronic smart tablet.
The light the robot emits during the active disinfection cycle is so intense it can only be used after hours when people are not inside the airport, so its autonomous operation is vital and as a safety precaution, a sensor will shut the light down if a human presence is detected to protect people from any UV-C exposure.
The robot can disinfect the entire airport’s interior spaces in approximately 2½ hours, however the airport continues to utilise other precautions, which includes manual disinfection and requiring that all personnel and passengers wear face masks, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For more information on the Florida Keys & Key West and what the current COVID-19 safety protocols are, please visit: www.fla-keys.co.uk
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.