NHL ice hockey franchise the Pittsburgh Penguins has teamed up with Carnegie Robots to bring autonomous UV floor scrubbers to concourses at PPG Paints Arena.

Yesterday (Tuesday) saw the Penguins increase capacity at PPG Paints Arena to 50% for its win against the New York Islanders, with 9,000 fans in attendance.

The Penguins have partnered with Carnegie Robotics, which was founded in Pittsburgh, as part of plans to step up cleaning methods at the arena as more fans return. The company was recently chosen by the US army to develop mine-hunting sensor payloads for ground robots and has also worked with Uber on self-driving cars.

Carnegie Robots’ UV floor scrubbers, which are essentially self-cleaning robots, will help keep PPG Paints Arena clean 24 hours a day.

Mike Embrescia, chief development officer for Carnegie Robots, said: “It’s really neat what the machines can do. The fact that it’s always cleaning and it has a UV deck is so important in a COVID world, as you want to be able to kill whatever bacteria or germs are out there. It’s also important to have it going on continuously. It can run all day and all night.

“We’re just scratching the surface with how we can apply robotic technologies to cleaning and disinfection. We are at the forefront, with those machines being just the first step.”

David Morehouse, president and chief executive of the Penguins, added: “We are proud to partner with technology companies like Carnegie Robotics, who are leading the new economy in Pittsburgh. It’s also a perfect opportunity for us to help them showcase their robotics technology at PPG Paints Arena as we increase fan capacity during the Stanley Cup playoffs.”

The Penguins began the season playing in front of no fans before the team was approved to open at 15% capacity at the beginning of the March. This increased to 25% at the beginning of April and then to 50% for last night’s game.

Image: Pittsburgh Penguins