Robot to sweep street dust in Helsinki quietly and without emissions at night

The agile pilot involves testing ways to clean the streets of the residential area in a manner that hinders the residents’ everyday life as little as possible and without emissions in the Jätkäsaari district of Helsinki. Pilot is organized by Trombia company, Helsinki City Construction Services (Stara), and Helsinki City innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki.

Starting from 19 April, people can see the automated Trombia Free street sweeper in action in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki. The robot’s suitability for use in a bustling urban residential area will be tested as part of the Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab, a project co-coordinated by Forum Virium Helsinki and the City of Helsinki.

The passenger car-sized street sweeper will work on weekday evenings and nights from 19 to 27 April on Välimerenkatu in Jätkäsaari and the Baana bicycle path in Helsinki. The working hours will change from day to day.

Developed in Finland, Trombia Free is the world’s first fully powered, electric and autonomous street sweeper. It consumes only 15% of the energy required by conventional brushing vacuum cleaning machines and does not generate emissions in the cleaning situation. Furthermore, the unprecedented street sweeper consumes only a fraction of the amount of water required in conventional cleaning methods.

“The autonomous and electric street sweeper is so quiet that it makes it possible to sweep the streets at night, hindering traffic as little as possible. For us, Jätkäsaari is an ideal smart city test location and a reference for the world’s major cities, as Jätkäsaari at night will show what can really be achieved with automation in an urban environment,” says Managing Director Antti Nikkanen from Trombia Technologies, the developers of Trombia Free.

The trial will be carried out in close collaboration with Helsinki City Construction Services Stara. Stara’s goal is to utilise digitalisation and robotisation to seek productivity and create living comfort in the city and its residents’ everyday life. With electric and automated work machinery, Stara is implementing the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 programme and contributing to the creation of the world’s most functional city.

Jätkäsaari is a testbed for smart mobility

Helsinki is seen globally as a pioneer of smart mobility. Jätkäsaari, in particular, serves as a platform on which businesses can try out new services and technologies in a genuine urban environment. The trial and pilot operations focus on the promotion of sustainable, smooth and safe traffic.

 “Our goal is for the best solutions to be exported from Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab to other cities in Finland and abroad. At the same time, we are promoting Helsinki’s climate goals and creating a more enjoyable urban environment for the residents,” says Project Manager Janne Rinne from the City of Helsinki innovation unit Forum Virium Helsinki.

The market for the Trombia Free street sweeper is believed to lie especially in pioneer cities like Helsinki.

“Combating climate change requires new solutions from all of us at the global level. Cities are playing a key role in finding solutions to challenges such as those related to sustainable housing, and our mission is to facilitate the electrification of street sweeping in full and achieve significant emission reductions all at once,” continues Antti Nikkanen from Trombia Technologies.

Autonomous street sweeper in Jätkäsaari:

  • The street sweeper will work on weekday evenings and nights from 19 to 27 April on Välimerenkatu in Jätkäsaari and the Baana bicycle path in Helsinki. The working hours will change from day to day.
  • In particular, the pilot will involve testing the noise level of the sweeping operations, the sweeping efficiency and the operation, benefits and limitations of the autonomous street sweeper.
  • The machine will detect obstacles, such as a pedestrian in its path, and stop. In the city pilot, the machine will always be accompanied by an operator to ensure safety.

Want to hear more?

  • Juho Kostiainen

  • Project Manager
    Mobility Lab Helsinki
    City of Helsinki
    Business Helsinki, Innovation services