Hungary’s airgate is testing site for hungarian-developed cleaning robot

Airport Security Zrt. is testing our unique, in-house developed cleaning robot at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport in an attempt to introduce higher quality automated cleaning regime. This week it launched its cutting edge cleaning robot named Integrated Cleaning Assistant, aka ICA.

As Deputy CEO of B+N Referencia Zrt. Csaba Szíj highlighted, ‘In the fall of 2018, after purchasing 100% ownership of Airport Security Zrt., B+N Referencia Zrt. began the improvement of cleaning services at the international airport. We optimized the size of the cleaning staff, revised processes and we are introducing a new quality control system in the near future. It is our mission that our international airport and airgate make a specifically good impression on passengers, and cleanliness is a big part of it. Our research and development department has been working on our in-house developed cleaning robot called Integrated Cleaning Assistant for 2 years, the prototype of which is being tested at the airport.’

It is widely known that cleaning is not among the most appreciated occupations. With the development of the cleaning robot, the aim of B+N Referencia Zrt. is not only to meet the challenge posed by labour shortage but also to introduce a cutting edge, innovative device in the sector, to increase the public appreciation of the workers in the cleaning industry, and call attention to the otherwise invisible people working for us in the background.

The robotization of cleaning (like any other highly labour-intensive sector) is at the foreground of automation and Industry 4.0 worldwide, and B+N is joining the top notch with its latest development. What makes ICA special, beyond being a fully self-financed development, is that it was not developed by a company specializing in robotics, but by one that cleans and manages 5 million m2 of surface on a daily basis – this way having an in-depth insight into the expectations that may arise in terms of cleaning and a cleaning robot.

In a mere 2 years, ICA went from the design board to introduction, the present mass produced robots following the 2nd prototype were deployed at B+N customers back in the first quarter of 2019. Head of B+N Referencia Zrt.’s Research and Development Péter Zalka added, ‘During the development, our aim was not to completely replace human labour, but to support it, increase its efficiency and automation level. The cleaning robot is specifically suitable for the cleaning of large areas like airport terminals and hospital corridors. These are the areas which are the most monotonous to clean for the cleaners, therefore the automation of this process helps our cleaners focus more on quality work.’

The prototype of ICA can clean 1500m2 in one shift and plans its route independently based on the preprogrammed site map. Automatically avoiding circumventing obstacles, ICA remembers missed areas and returns to them later. Thanks to the ongoing developments, the robot keeps a checklist of the work completed and a database on the areas cleaned and missed, which makes quality control automation possible. Péter Huszka, Chief Operating Officer of Budapest Airport, said, ‘Based on the first impressions, passengers welcomed the “robot cleaner” with wonderment, since they could not meet anything like it before at any other airport. Introducing such an innovative development for the first time in Hungary means a lot to us, since, the primary airgate of the country, Budapest Airport always strives to be a trendsetter. We hope the tests will be successful and the first generation of ICA robots can start their permanent service at Liszt Ferenc International Airport.




Its main functions:

  • Independent route planning
  • Area assessment, drawing up a cleaning site map based on it
  • Selection of cleaning area based on the recorded cleaning site map
  • Mobile phone control device
  • Bypassing unexpected obstacles, returning to missed areas
  • Reporting work, sending problem signal
  • 3-level sensor system, navigating with minimal clearance at edges and corners
  • Rotating around its central axis
  • Adjustable brush pressure and water usage
  • Compatible with elevators

Background information:

On 28 September B+N Referencia Zrt. purchased 100% ownership of Airport Security Zrt. During the years, Airport Security Zrt. had amassed significant losses, therefore after purchasing it, B+N Referencia Zrt. provided a 270-million forint capital injection in the form of  affiliate loan. 160-170 out of the 300 employees of Airport Security Zrt. works at Liszt Ferenc International Airport, with the majority doing cleaning work.

B+N Referencia Zrt. provides services related to facility management, cleaning and gardening in over 5 million m2, at over 2600 premises, employing over 4.000 people nationwide. It is one of the biggest facility management providers of Hungary.