Disinfecting Robot at Key West Airport Named 'R2Key2' in Public Contest

A coronavirus-fighting robot that disinfects the interior of Key West International Airport in Florida was introduced on February 5 as “R2Key2” – the winning moniker chosen from an online contest to name the machine.

In December, the airport debuted the nearly 6-foot-tall robot, which emits high-intensity ultraviolet UVC light designed to remove 99.9 percent of harmful airborne and surface pathogens, according to a statement from Monroe County tourism officials.

The unit patrols the airport during nighttime hours when passengers are not present. Its intense UV lights can disinfect the entire interior space in approximately 2.5 hours, the statement said.

A committee of Florida Keys officials chose the name during an online contest that attracted 1,000 entries in about six hours, the statement said. The January 14 contest was part of the Florida Keys tourism council’s initiative to promote safety protocols for combating COVID-19.

“While naming the robot is lighthearted in its nature, what we really are concerned about, and make a priority here in the Florida Keys, is protecting the health of our residents and our tourists,” said Keys Mayor Michelle Coldiron in a press release. “The robot is now keeping the Key West International Airport cleaner and safer for all who come through the Florida Keys.” Credit: Monroe County Tourist Development Council via Storyful