Trombia Says Airport Pilot Shows Autonomous Sweeper Can Improve Maintenance Efficiency

Finnish company says pilot project at Helsinki Airport demonstrated that year-round cleaning can save money and reduce emissions.


Trombia Free cleans a parking garage in the Helsinki Airport pilot.

Robots and autonomous vehicles are increasingly suitable for cleaning streets and runways. Trombia Technologies Oy yesterday reported on a 10-day pilot at the Helsinki Airport. The Finland-based company reported that its Trombia Free autonomous sweepers improved efficiency in high-level maintenance operations both indoors and outdoors.

Founded in 2011, Snowek Trombia provides sweeper attachments and the Trombia Free autonomous sweepers. The company clamed that its autonomous, remotely operated suction systems can reduce water waste and carbon dioxide emissions in comparison with diesel sweepers. 

Trombia Free can handle cleaning tasks more efficiently than standard suction sweeping technology, according to Trombia. Its patented “air knife” technology is designed to clean even the dustiest corners without throwing water on the surface. That is key to continuous year-round maintenance when temperatures go below zero celsius, said Antti Nikkanen, CEO of Trombia Technologies.

Pilot proves Trombia Free efficiencies

Trombia reported that its pilots have shown that its autonomous cleaner operates efficiently in semi-closed areas such as parking lots, where both narrow indoor spaces and busy outdoor areas need continuous maintenance.

Trombia worked with facility management operator ISS Finland for the pilot at Helsinki Airport in July. The company reported the following findings:

  • Zero safety incidents
  • Low noise levels, even around the autonomous sweeper
  • Effective cleaning results across the entire working area, both indoors and outdoors
  • Year-round usage possible with waterless air-knife technology
  • Cost efficiency that will improve even more with planned remote operator centers
  • 30 tons less CO2 emissions with every sweeper.

Trombia Technologies plans to roll out remote operator centers and a specific service dock to enables efficient logistics for transfer and unloading of the autonomous sweeper in 2022. “This will release the full potential of autonomy for the maintenance operators,” it said.

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Trombia Free cleans a parking garage in the Helsinki Airport pilot.

Robot Technologies