marchapril2021 - 14

MAINTENANCE
AUTHOR Walker Jaroch, Joe Petrie

The Rise of the Robots

The adoption of autonomous technology has taken off over the past year
in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Airports are utilizing robots to
disinfect their terminals, scrub their floors and restore passenger confidence.
THERE ARE robots in the terminal. But it's not
an Isaac Asimov novel - it's the future of airport
cleaning. Autonomous technology has taken on
a new life in airport spaces, fueled in part by
the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. These
machines are taking the cleaning burden off of
humans and some are disinfecting spaces in ways
people never could - with ultraviolet (UV) light.
The Xenex LightStrike robot does
just as its name suggests, killing pathogens
with light. Developed by Johns Hopkins
trained epidemiologists, Dr. Mark Stibich
and Dr. Julie Stachowiak, the LightStrike
uses a xenon bulb to emit intense,
powerful bursts of UV light. Utilized
for years worldwide in the healthcare
industry, the LightStrike is now finding
a new home in airports.
" The bursts of really intense light do
four different kinds of damage to the
microorganisms, let's say the coronavirus,
so that it can't reproduce, it can't mutate
and it can't harm the next person in that
room. The robot doesn't require any
warmup time, it doesn't require any
cool downtime, it doesn't leave behind
chemical residue. The room or area is
instantly ready for reuse, " said Melinda
Hart, director, media relations, Xenex.
U V light has been used for
disinfection for decades. Though these
technologies, are often slow and emit
a continuous, low intensity UV light.
The LightStrike's intense, fast bursts of
UV light allow it to disinfect multiple
areas one after another. It's been proven
to deactivate SARS-CoV-2, the virus
that causes COVID-19, in two minutes.

" We're able to disinfect dozens of
rooms per day with a single robot. I think
the world record right now is 62 rooms
in a 24-hour period, " Hart said.
San Antonio International Airport
(SAT) is the first airport in the world
to purchase and employ the LightStrike
- and is part of an overall technology
upgrade the airport went through in
response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
" When COVID hit, we were very
low technology. We had hospital grade
quaternary cleaner in spray bottles.
Drums and drums and gallons and gallons
of it. And since then, we've graduated to
steam cleaners and electrostatic sprayers.
And our last one that we're most famous
for is the LightStrike UV disinfectant
robot that we use every night here, all
around the airport. We really graduated
from low-tech to high-tech fairly quickly
as COVID progressed, " said John Kokesh,
terminal services manager, SAT.
Kokesh echoed the often-heard
sentiment from the airport industry of
late - that passengers now want to see
cleaning done; they want to feel safe.
As such, SAT uses the hospital grade
disinfectant during the day, spraying and
wiping down areas in view of the public.

14 \ AIRPORTBUSINESS / MARCH/APRIL 2021

" It's in front of the public. That's what Neo at
the public wants to see. They want to see CVG.
a hand wipe. They want to see a spray AVIDBOTS
bottle. They want to see a rag and they
want to see people, " Kokesh said. " They
want to see the action of cleaning. "
Then at night, SAT brings out the
electrostatic sprayers and the LightStrike
robot when the airport is largely empty.
" We're using the UV robot in places
such as the checkpoints, the food courts,
hold rooms, jet bridges is a big one. We
just keep it moving. We do the rental
car center, elevator cab, those types of
things. And then the electrostatic sprayer
is something that we do in high employee
areas, such as the communication center.
It's a small area with a lot of people
around the clock. The police station,
the roll call rooms, the TSA checkpoint,
where you got a lot of people in a small
space, " detailed Kokesh.



marchapril2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of marchapril2021

The $7 Million Man
Industry Update
A New Normal in Airport Parking and Transportation
The Rise of Robots
Boarding Bridges the Holistic Way
A Brave New World
The Trouble with Tribal Knowledge
Doing it Right: Public Sector FBOs
Reconstructing One of New England's Longest Commericial Service Runways
Designing a Modern Lighthouse
Sensor Technology's One-Two Punch: Improving Winter Maintenance Operations and Meeting ICAO GRF Regulations
Caution: Closure Ahead
marchapril2021 - 1
marchapril2021 - 2
marchapril2021 - 3
marchapril2021 - 4
marchapril2021 - The $7 Million Man
marchapril2021 - Industry Update
marchapril2021 - 7
marchapril2021 - 8
marchapril2021 - 9
marchapril2021 - 10
marchapril2021 - 11
marchapril2021 - A New Normal in Airport Parking and Transportation
marchapril2021 - 13
marchapril2021 - The Rise of Robots
marchapril2021 - 15
marchapril2021 - 16
marchapril2021 - 17
marchapril2021 - Boarding Bridges the Holistic Way
marchapril2021 - 19
marchapril2021 - 20
marchapril2021 - 21
marchapril2021 - A Brave New World
marchapril2021 - 23
marchapril2021 - 24
marchapril2021 - 25
marchapril2021 - The Trouble with Tribal Knowledge
marchapril2021 - 27
marchapril2021 - 28
marchapril2021 - Doing it Right: Public Sector FBOs
marchapril2021 - 30
marchapril2021 - 31
marchapril2021 - Reconstructing One of New England's Longest Commericial Service Runways
marchapril2021 - 33
marchapril2021 - 34
marchapril2021 - 35
marchapril2021 - Designing a Modern Lighthouse
marchapril2021 - 37
marchapril2021 - Sensor Technology's One-Two Punch: Improving Winter Maintenance Operations and Meeting ICAO GRF Regulations
marchapril2021 - 39
marchapril2021 - Caution: Closure Ahead
marchapril2021 - 41
marchapril2021 - 42
marchapril2021 - 43
marchapril2021 - 44
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