BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - Before the pandemic put the U.S. economy on ice, around 12,000 daily passengers shuttled through CVG Airport.
During the peak of the shutdown, that number hovered just above 300.
The airport is beginning to recover, and the numbers are rising, according to airport officials. But that creates a new challenge: keeping the airport clean.
Enter Neo, an autonomous floor-scrubbing robot.
Neo is in charge of cleaning 200,000 sq. ft. of airport floors every week.
“We are making sure these spots are as clean as they can be,” CVG Director of Communications and Government Affairs Seth Cutter said.
CVG bought Neo just before the pandemic, Cutter explains. Now, with CDC guidelines for business reopening, the robot is more critical than ever.
“There has never been a more important time for airports and aviation to focus on cleanliness with high-touch surfaces with disinfectant," Cutter said.
Neo supplements staff rather than replacing them. The robot allows CVG’s cleaning team to focus on those high-traffic areas.
“The technology is really something that can (...) make sure things are clean," Cutter said, "and then supplement the existing staff that now have more to do than they did before.”
Neo runs on tech that allows the bot to avoid obstacles -- that is, passengers -- while making sure not to miss any spots.
“Passengers with luggage, people different sizes and height are getting in its way,” Cutter explained. “That is what it is sensing as an autonomous robot, what is happening in its surroundings. It does operate on a single charge for up to six hours.”