Dubai: If you see an orange-coloured self-propelled cleaner at a Metro station in Dubai, don't fret. Better get used to it.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has embarked on a test to use this robotic cleaner at the Union Metro station, an interchange that links both the Red and Green Metro lines in the city.
The move, part of RTA's aim to embrace artificial intelligence, seeks to reinforce Dubai's AI strategy embodying the first objective of "Smart Dubai".
Mohammad Hassan Al Amiri, Director of Railways Maintenance at the Railways Authority, explained that the use of robot cleaner at the Union Metro Station is a first step in cleaning of all Metro stations using AI.
"The project will be implemented, if this experiment is successful, on a larger scale," Al Amiri said in a statement on RTA's website.
He explained that the robot is efficient, and designed according to international standards. Using the robo cleaner helps reduce water usage in tidying up the metro stations.
The robot can also be pre-programmed to follow certain processes and patterns of cleaning floors. They work without the need for human driver.
The robot cleaner needs minimal human intervention — except for some limited and simple steps, such as water addition and programming, as preparatory step before it goes on its way.
Programming could also be tweaked so that the robot can clean floors of complex design.
He explained that the robot is equipped with sensors and sonars that allow it to move around, detect obstacles with its collision-avoidance system.
The sensors work with lasers that give the robo-cleaner a 360-degree view, which makes it suitable for use in public places.
The robo-cleaner — 135 cm (length) x 90 cm (width) x 128 cm (height) — is fitted with water tank that can hold up to 90 liters of water.