In response to the coronavirus, transportation authorities in Hong Kong are getting creative in keeping subway cars squeaky clean. Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Corporation, a government-owned railway operator, has rolled out a disinfecting robot to clean trains, Quartz reports.
The mini-fridge-sized robots are capable of autonomously rolling down the trains as they spray a “vaporised hydrogen peroxide” (VHP) solution. Rather than completely replacing human cleaning staff, the robots are meant to assist them by getting to small gaps that are hard to reach, according to a statement.
Operators can either remotely control the robots within 20 meters (66 feet) or put them on auto by pre-setting the floor plan. The robot takes about four hours to clean an entire 8-car train according to the company.
“We plan to deploy a total of 20 VHP robots for train cleaning in depots and hope this helps to ensure the comfort of passengers’ journeys by providing ever greater health protection for our colleagues and our customers alike,” Tony Lee, Operations Director of MTR Corporation, said in the statement.
Larger self-driving vans are being used by Chinese authorities to disinfect entire roadways and help deliver medical supplies.
Hong Kong has had good success at keeping the outbreak in check. A total of only 129 cases have been confirmed so far, 39 of which came from outside its borders.
READ MORE: Hong Kong’s subway is sending robots to disinfect trains of coronavirus [Quartz]
More on disinfection bots: Adorable Self-Driving Vans Are Disinfecting Roads in China