Design Engineering

Autonomous UVC disinfecting robot enters service on Hydro-Québec Dash 8 aircraft

By DE Staff   

Automation Aerospace Medical

RAY robot, by Ottawa’s aero hygenx , can disinfect aircraft cabin, lavatory and crew areas in under five minutes.

(photo credit: aero hygenx)

Hydro-Québec announced that its three Dash 8-300 and Dash 8-400 De Havilland Canada aircraft now incorporate a cabin disinfection procedure between flights utilizing an autonomous robot called RAY. Designed and manufactured by Ottawa-based aero hygenx inc., RAY uses powerful ultraviolet-C (UVC) light in place of chemical-based disinfection, to neutralize 90%+ of bacteria and viruses, including MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV1, SARS-CoV2 and Ebola, the company says.

“Rapid, consistent, and chemical-free disinfection of air and surfaces is vital for employee and passenger safety in the fight against pandemics,” said aero hygenx CEO, Arash Mahin. “We are mindful of the industry’s economic challenges and are confident that RAY will deliver significant cost savings for aircraft operators from the onset.”

Optimized for use on Dash 8 Series aircraft, the RAY’s compact autonomous robotic platform can independently traverse narrow aircraft isles without human assistance. That’s critical since the robot emits intense UV-C light (in the 240 and 280nm range) that’s powerful enough damage pathogen DNA and RNA but is also harmful to human skin and eyes. For safety, the battery-powered robot incorporates a motion sensing camera that automatically shuts the robot off when it detects human motion. In total, the company says the robot can disinfect an aircraft’s cabin, lavatories and crew area, in under five minutes.

“The completion of development and testing of an innovative, chemical-free disinfection method at a rapid pace is a testament to the agility and versatility of the aero hygenx and De Havilland Canada teams who worked alongside each other to adapt RAY to cater to regional aircraft operations,” said Robert Mobilio, VP of Engineering and Quality with De Havilland Canada. “The vision was to create a solution that would provide immediate benefits to the entire regional aviation industry during the ongoing pandemic, as well as in the post-pandemic era where enhanced disinfection is expected to be a mainstay.”



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