Some airlines use a standalone UV robot to disinfect aircraft faster and cheaper – Meet Ray
Some airlines are ditching manual cleaning procedures for Aero HygenX’s self-driving UV robot called Ray. Ray uses motion-sensing technology to navigate aircraft and clean 99.999% of pathogens, including the virus that causes COVID-19. Low-cost carrier Avelo Airlines is the first US airline to use Ray, saying it reduces labor time and costs.
During the pandemic, airlines had to start performing deeper cleaning on aircraft to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Many companies responded with heavy-duty sterilization technology to target the virus, like hospital-grade disinfectants used to kill diseases like herpes, salmonella, and the avian flu.
However, most of the new processes require humans to manually apply the potent chemicals, which takes time and could damage their eyes and skin.
So, a tech startup came up with a greener, hands-free solution in the form of a self-driving robot called Ray.
Ray has been developed by Canadian company Aero HygenX and can reliably and quickly kill 99.999% of pathogens using ultraviolet technology (UVC).
UVC works by destroying the DNA structure of bacteria and viruses that are on surfaces and in the air. According to Aero HygenX, RAY consistently eliminates diseases like COVID-19 and Ebola.
The tech does not require manual cleaning or the use of any hazardous chemicals, meaning there is no left behind residue that could damage plastics or fabrics in the cabin or cockpit.
Moreover, using fewer chemicals means less risk of “interior corrosion, embrittlement, increased flammability, and electrical short circuit,” according to the company.
“Depending on the system or part affected, any of these conditions [chemical effect] could create either an immediate or latent airworthiness issue,” a Special Airworthiness Bulletin published by the FAA warned in November 2020.
RAY is the first autonomous UVC disinfection robot specially designed for airliners. It uses motion-sensing technology to move up and down aircraft aisles and navigate throughout the galleys.
The tech not only provides a more thorough cleaning after passengers disembark but also reduces the time and labor needed to disinfect the plane.
In December 2021, Aero HygenX announced a partnership with Mitsubishi Jets to market the RAY technology to use on CRJ Series aircraft.
According to the companies, the robot can disinfect an entire CRJ in as little as seven minutes.
Over the months, Aero HygenX has expanded the use of Ray to larger jets, including Avelo Airlines’ Boeing 737 planes.
Avelo announced on Thursday that it is the first US airline to use Ray. According to the airline, other carriers use UVC technology to clean aircraft, but they are not autonomous.
The low-cost carrier believes the “emissions-free” robot is a “sustainable alternative to harmful chemicals.” Aircraft disinfection occurs every evening following the last flight of each day, according to Avelo.
The airline plans to also use the UVC technology in employee workspaces at its bases in Burbank, California, and New Haven, Connecticut.
“We are excited to be on the leading edge of helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses among the flying public,” Avelo CEO Andrew Levy said in a press release.
“Ray is a safer, faster, more cost-effective, and more sustainable solution than the conventional chemical-based manual disinfection process used by most other airlines,” he continued.
Other companies have also signed agreements with Aero HygenX to deploy and market the product, including Ethiopian Airlines…