Robot “smart trainees” to work on Hong Kong’s metro

MTR Corporation, the body that manages Hong Kong’s rail system, has developed robotic "smart trainees", which are due to begin working at Hong Kong’s underground Kai Tak Station and Pat Heung Depot in the third quarter of 2020.

The robotic workers come in the following varieties:

  • The underframe inspection robot that use image recognition and artificial intelligence to find  abnormalities beneath trains
  • "Finder-T" and "Guider-T" robots that answer enquiries about journey planning, and can lead passengers to entrances, exits and toilets
  • "Checker-T" units that patrol at night to check facilities using image analysis
  • "Cleaner-T" robots that are equipped with water filtration systems and clean the stations.

The robots are still in their learning phase, with changes being made to their software and functionality.

Tony Lee, MTR’s operations director, said: "Technology enables our station operations team to enhance customer service delivery, and the maintenance team are coming up with more forward-looking maintenance measures using big data and real-time monitoring

"Talent remains the core of innovation and technology at MTR. We attach great importance to in-house development and training, and will continue to provide resources to our engineers to encourage them to explore innovative ideas."

Image: Kai Tak Station (Wpcpey/CC BY 4.0)

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