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Covid-19: Hong Kong’s MTR deploys VHP Robot for disinfection

Hong Kong's MTR deploys VHP Robot for disinfection
©_MTR Corporation

[MTR Corporation]New “Vapourised Hydrogen Peroxide Robot” (VHP Robot) to further enhance disinfection of stations and trains

The Hong Kong transportation company MTR Corporation is committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment for passengers, with continuous enhancement by introduction of new technologies and equipment. Recently, the Corporation has deployed a new automated “Vapourised Hydrogen Peroxide Robot” (VHP Robot) to conduct deep cleaning and decontamination in train compartments and stations, further enhancing hygiene and health protection for passengers and staff under the current epidemic.

The VHP Robot is a co-invention arising from a joint project of MTR and Avalon Biomedical (Management) Limited (“Avalon”), a Hong Kong biotechnology company. By automatically spraying hydrogen peroxide solution that is atomised to a specific concentration, the VHP Robot ensures that disinfectants penetrate in the small gaps that are difficult to reach during normal cleaning work. In this way, it can eliminate viruses and bacteria, including staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and so on. The effectiveness of the VHP Robot has passed relevant tests and achieved the desired results.

When there is a need to conduct disinfection, the operator can preset the VHP Robot to operate automatically by pre-setting the floor plan of the designated area, or remotely control the robot manually with a mobile device within a distance of 20 metres. In general, it takes about 4 hours to complete the cleaning of an 8-car train in automatic mode. If there is a special situation, such as a passenger vomiting on a train, MTR staff will deploy the VHP Robot to perform deep cleaning on top of the regular cleaning with diluted bleach water. Recently, the robot was dispatched to disinfect the back-of-house area at Mong Kok East Station, including staff changing rooms, staff toilets and mess room, as well as the passenger lifts at the station after a staff member there was diagnosed with Covid-19.

VHP Robot

Dr Tony Lee, Operations Director of MTR Corporation.

“We fully understand our passengers’ concerns about hygiene in their travelling environment, especially amid the current Covid-19 outbreak,” said Dr Tony Lee, Operations Director of MTR Corporation. “While MTR has comprehensively strengthened cleaning and disinfection work in the railway network, we have also continued to actively explore feasible enhancements.”

“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. We are very happy to be collaborating with Avalon and are very encouraged by the results,” Dr Lee added.