MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – A coronavirus-fighting robot that disinfects Key West International Airport’s interior spaces has a new name.
Florida Keys tourism officials announced the winner Friday of a social media contest to pick the name. Chelsea Atkinsm, of Bat Cave, North Carolina, submitted “R2Key2,” winning a three-night vacation for two in the island chain. The competition, staged in mid-January, reached its 1,000-entry limit in less than six hours.READ MORE: CBS4 Photojournalist Rafael Murciano Is Quite 'The Entertainer' With His Musical Talents
“While naming the robot is lighthearted in its nature, what we make a priority here in the Keys is protecting the health of our residents and tourists,” said Monroe County Mayor Michelle Coldiron, one of the contest judges and a tourism council board member.
Key West International was among the first U.S. airports to employ one of the unique robots, debuting it in December to augment other cleaning practices.READ MORE: Dolphin Legend & Humanitarian Nat Moore Honored With Mural In Overtown
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Standing nearly 6 feet tall, “R2Key2” emits high-intensity ultraviolet UV-C wavelength light designed to remove 99.9% of harmful airborne and surface pathogens including COVID-19. After the airport closes to the public each night, it patrols autonomously for about 2 1/2 hours to disinfect the terminal and other areas.
The naming contest was conceived by the Keys tourism council to increase awareness of the island community’s safety protocols to combat COVID-19, including mandatory masking requirements.MORE NEWS: Customer Loyalty During The Pandemic Helped Some Mom & Pop Businesses Survive
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