Detroit Metro Airport Utilizing Disinfecting Robot to Restore Travel Confidence


The McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport has used a disinfection robot from Pratt Miller Mobility in New Hudson. // Photo by Pratt Miller Mobility

The McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport has deployed a Pratt Miller Mobility sanitizing robot in New Hudson to help build confidence in the travel industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The robot called Safi combines multi-head electrostatic sprayers and autonomous technologies to ensure even and thorough coverage of surfaces. It features a 16 gallon tank that contains FDA approved disinfectant materials and is powered by an on-board battery.

While the robot is working, it reports to a web interface dashboard that the facility supervisors can access and informs them of which surfaces were covered, when they were covered and how much disinfectant was used. According to Pratt Miller, this sensor and data analysis function is a first in the disinfection industry.

“Our robot is not supposed to take the place of human cleaners,” says Simon Dean, Vice President for Mobility and Nuclear Technology at PMM. “However, it is intended to work in parallel with their efforts to better clean smaller niche spaces.”

Safi was piloted at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids earlier this year and will be deployed in Delta Terminals at LaGuardia Airport in New York in the coming weeks.

“Safi has been very well received by both airlines and passengers,” said Jeff Holaly, key account director of ISS, the global facility services provider for Delta Airlines. “Everyone is excited to see Safi and it gives them confidence that they know they are walking into a clean facility.”

According to Pratt Miller, the combination of the electric, autonomous, large electrostatic spray pattern and networked digital coverage of the robot provides value for airports and facilities including convention centers, wholesalers, manufacturing facilities, casinos, resorts and stadiums.

“At Pratt Miller, we have 30 years of experience in solving complex problems quickly using intelligent engineering and state-of-the-art technology. When we saw COVID-19 disrupt the travel industry, we were able to quickly bring our product to airports, ”says Dean. “Safi is a solution that will allow us to get back to business and our daily lives safely.”


Dusty Kennedy