Robot for rapidly disinfecting large areas


Forth Engineering has invented a remotely-operated disinfecting robot to keep areas lean during the coronavirus outbreak Forth Engineering in Cumbria is known for its innovations to solve complex industry challenges in the nuclear, oil and gas, renewables and other sectors all over the world. Forth’s Managing Director Mark Telford and his team have responded to the fight against COVID-19 by inventing a remotely-operated disinfecting robot.
“It’s an amazing bit of kit. I took it to one of our sites and it disinfected 68,000 square feet in just 20 minutes. It’s very impressive,” said Mark. “We’ve put together our tracked robot, vapour cannon, camera and lights, and developed the first one in a matter of days.

“We have had lots of inquiries about it and we are now going into production. We will have to see how many robots people want us to manufacture.” The robot is able to work remotely, controlled from a safe distance, to help the NHS
and other organizations keep areas clean during the coronavirus outbreak. “It can be used to sterilise ambulances, hospitals, shops and supermarkets, wherever it’s required,” said Mark. “It can also be used to disinfect factories and
offices, schools and colleges, before people return to work and go back to education after the lockdown to make sure they are safe to use.”

It works in a similar way to a vapour cigarette in that it fires high pressure vapour which will settle in every part of a designated area. In terms of the impressive speed of Forth’s response, Mark said it’s how he and his team have been used to working to help solve complex industry problems. “When people have a problem, we come up with solutions. That’s our skill-set. That’s what we do,” said Mark. “We are known across industry for responding quickly and
coming up with quick, cost-efficient solutions which are ready to go.

Forth has a global reputation for its innovative solutions, saving lives by inventing robots to carry out hazardous tasks, instead of putting people into dangerous areas.  Its recent projects include working to develop a world-first Friction Stir Welding Robotic Crawler (FSWbot) for internal repair and refurbishment of pipelines which can be used by a range of industries without having to stop production. It has also recently worked with partners on developing the pioneering Hullguard system of protecting floating offshore installations from corrosion without using divers which has been successfully deployed for the first time in the UK North Sea.