Robots are now cleaning Auckland Airport.

Three robot cleaners, the AeroBot, HydroBot and Duobot are scrubbing, vacuuming and sweeping throughout the international terminal.

The machines made by United States company Intellibot Robots use sonar to sense and avoid obstacles along the way, and have their "flight path" programmed to travel along a planned route. They are the size of a small child and are programmed to stop instantly if someone jumps on them or tries to tamper with them.

Cleaning company OCS says the robots will complement the work done by its 200-plus staff at the airport rather than lead to job losses.


"Employees will benefit from the new technology, being able to take on higher skilled roles such as programming and maintenance of the equipment, while the robots take over the large-scale routine cleaning tasks that typically consume many hours of manual labour," said OCS acting managing director, Gareth Marriott.

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The company says the Intellibots are the first robotic cleaners to be introduced for commercial cleaning in New Zealand, OCS says.

A typical worker would be able to clean 300sqm of floor area an hour, but the Intellibot is designed to cover three times the area in the same amount of time.

The Intellibots use up to 85 per cent less water and cleaning solution, said Marriot.

"Another important benefit of the Intellibot technology is that it has a specially designed UV light filter system that eliminates 99.9 per cent of germs from the floors as it cleans, minimising the threat of airborne bugs lodging themselves somewhere," he said.

Intellibots are manufactured in Virginia and the company has its headquarters in Portland.
Auckland Airport is the busiest airport in the country with more than 15 million passengers a year.

See a corporate video from Intellibots showing how its cleaning robots work here: