Robot technology deployed to disinfect Abu Dhabi airport, screen passengers

The robot will be deployed throughout Abu Dhabi International Airport including staff areas and cargo facilities as well as cabins on passenger aircraft



Image Courtesy: Abu Dhabi Airport Twitter

Abu Dhabi Airports has partnered with Tawazun Strategic Development Fund (TSDF) to launch the new CoDi BOT UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle), designed and manufactured by UAE-based company Marakeb Technologies, an affiliate company of TSDF, to aid in Covid-19 disinfection tasks.

The UGV has three central functions including targeting of virus strains on surfaces with controlled bursts of germicidal UV rays, screening of individuals through thermal infrared monitoring and disinfection of areas using liquid cleaning agents.

The CoDi BOT UGV will be deployed throughout Abu Dhabi International Airport from this month at areas such as staff zones and cargo facilities as well as used to sterilise cabins on passenger aircraft.

The UGV is remote controlled by operators who can view a real-time video feed of the path of the robot via a high-speed 4G data connection.

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“The introduction of the robot helps operational teams carry out safer missions during the sterilisation of aircraft while parked at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), eliminating the risk of human exposure and self-contamination,” said a statement issued by Abu Dhabi Airports.

The airport has already introduced a range of Covid-19 precautionary measures including thermal screening, nasal swabbing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, in line with the recommendations of the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP).

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“Introducing CoDi BOT UGV at Abu Dhabi International Airport reflects our commitment to adopting innovative technology, which can bolster the protection of our passengers and frontline staff against viruses. By deploying artificial intelligence, it adds another layer of protection and builds on our comprehensive response to the Covid-19 outbreak,” said Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports.

On April 8, UAE national airline Etihad Airways said that it would partner with Australian company Elenium Automation to roll out a new early-warning system which uses self-service devices at Abu Dhabi airport to identify medically at-risk travellers, including passengers who are possibly in the early stages of having contracted the Covid-19 virus too.

Read: Etihad’s early-warning system at Abu Dhabi airport to identify medically at-risk travellers

Etihad is the first airline to test such a technology capable of monitoring the temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate of a person using an airport touchpoint such as a check-in or information kiosk, a bag drop facility, a security point or an immigration gate.

Etihad will initially roll out the system at its hub airport in Abu Dhabi throughout this month using a range of volunteers at a time when international flights from the country are suspended as part of the UAE’s coronavirus precautionary measures.

Once regular flight operations resume, it will test the system on outbound passengers.

The new system can be retrofitted into any existing airport kiosk, baggage drop facility or installed as a desktop system at a processing point such as an immigration desk.