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Train-Cleaning Robots Protect Staff, Prevent Delays


Illustration of the anticipated form of the train-cleaning robot.

The research team will now focus on the production of a flexible navigation tool to guide the robot, and a waste detection algorithm.

Credit: The Herald (Scotland)

Scientists at Scotland's Heriot-Watt University and University of Edinburgh have developed train-cleaning robots to help make cleaning train cars "quick and affordable" while protecting staff from risks.

The wheeled robots will clean hard-to-reach places between and underneath seats with flip-out brushes, using static and 180-degree cameras to navigate.

Heriot-Watt's Mustafa Suphi Erden said, "We've worked closely with rail operators to design a robot that can complement existing cleaning regimes, aiding human cleaners to deliver an ongoing service and freeing them up to focus other hygiene tasks including disinfecting surfaces like tables, cleaning the seats and removing dirt, fluid, and food waste."

The researchers trained the robots on 58,300 images of waste in various conditions, as well as in situ. The team plans to have a prototype ready for demonstration by next summer.

From The Herald (Scotland)
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