Autonomous Robot From Metro Detroit Disinfects Airports and Factories

An autonomous robot that disinfects large areas could make people more confident about air travel and going to work in a factory during a period such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
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disinfecting robot at Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Pratt Miller Mobility’s LAAD-V autonomous disinfecting robot patrols Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids July 13-17. // Photo courtesy Pratt Miller Mobility

An autonomous robot that disinfects large areas could make people more confident about air travel and going to work in a factory during a period such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pratt Miller Mobility of New Hudson (between Novi and Brighton) demonstrated the capabilities of its Large Area Autonomous Disinfecting (LAAD) Vehicle at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, July 13-17. The demonstration took place in concert with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Ann Arbor’s PlanetM.

In May, Pratt Miller Mobility received a $50,000 MEDC COVID-19 Mobility Solution Grant to fund the airport demonstration.

LAAD-V, the first-of-its-kind to be deployed in the U.S., is a connected, electric, and autonomous disinfecting robot that dispenses FDA-approved disinfecting materials through a multi-head electrostatic sprayer array. The electrostatic technology sprays disinfectant into the air and adheres to surfaces for maximum virus protection, while the autonomous platform monitors and guarantees coverage through the use of sensors and data analysis, the company says.

“The new technology from Pratt Miller is a great tool in our Fly Safe. Fly Ford. campaign to restore confidence in the flying public,” says Tory Richardson, CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. “We appreciate the partnership with Pratt Miller and support from the MEDC that enable us to test leading-edge technology to combat the spread of COVID-19.”

Simon Dean, vice president of mobility and innovation at Pratt Miller, says, “At Pratt Miller, we provide solutions to complex mobility problems. COVID-19 has significantly disrupted the way the world moves. LAAD-V is one solution that will allow us to safely get back to business and our daily lives – and thanks to our partnership with MEDC and Gerald R. Ford Airport, we are one step closer.”

Trevor Pawl, chief mobility officer of the state of Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, says products like the LAAD-V are examples of industry and government working together to solve problems.

“This continues to build on the partnership between Pratt Miller and the state in delivering transportation solutions that reflect the leading-edge technology we aim to provide across all forms of mobility,” says Pawl. “Pratt Miller’s ability to pivot their product development capabilities in support of innovative solutions that fight the virus showcases the company’s expertise and the culture of innovation rooted here in Michigan.”

Pratt Miller Mobility says it works with the full spectrum of the mobility industry – from the world’s largest automotive OEM’s to budding start-ups – to bring innovative ideas to life.

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