Robots are slowly starting to creep in each and every aspect of our modern life, and the same goes for the airline industry, as JetBlue just became the first airline in the United States to deploy a state of the art robot in the fight against Coronavirus.
The new robot employs cutting edge Ultraviolet light technology, and it will be used to disinfect surfaces in aircraft interiors. Two airports were selected to test the new Ultraviolet light system, the JFK in NY and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida.
The robot looks more or less like a beverage cart and it can disinfect an aircraft cabin in approximately ten minutes. The robot also known as UV Cabin System is made by Honeywell and features UV-C light arms that are used to treat surfaces as they extend over the top of seats.
The UV robot will complement traditional cleaning methods (read chemical disinfectants). It is scientifically proven that UV light (just as solar light) has the potential to annihilate certain viruses and bacteria, including Coronaviruses such as Covid-19, provided it’s used properly at specific levels.
Here’s JetBlue’s COO and President Joanna Geraghty’s take on the new technology:
“With the safety of our crewmembers and customers our first priority, JetBlue’s Safety from the Ground Up initiative is maintaining a layered approach to safety by ensuring healthy crewmembers, providing flexibility, adding space, reducing touchpoints, and keeping surfaces clean and sanitized. As we look to add additional layers of protection by utilizing cutting-edge technology, we have identified the Honeywell UV Cabin System as a potential game changer when it comes to efficiently assisting in our efforts to sanitize surfaces onboard.”
So far, Honeywell has provided 8 UV robots to JetBlue at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, for a 90 day pilot program of sorts. If everything goes well, it is expected for other companies to embrace UV technology in order to keep their passengers safe during flight.
Airline companies were hit very hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, just as tourism and the service industry, and it looks like UV technology has the potential to make things better for the airline industry. Here’s Honeywell Aerospace president and CEO Mike Madsen:
“JetBlue took an immediate interest in this new product when we demonstrated it for them just a few weeks ago, and now JetBlue is receiving our first systems. We’ve ramped up production quickly on the UV Cabin System, and our company is working on a range of solutions to help make passengers more comfortable about flying.”