Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) will begin the use of five robotic ‘smart trainees’ in its station operations team from the third quarter of this year.

They will be deployed in the Kai Tak station.

The maintenance team has also planned to introduce different initiatives and technology to improve the railway service and enhance operational efficiency.

MTR will introduce the five robots, namely ‘Finder-T’, ‘Guider-T’, ‘Checker-T’ and two types of ‘Cleaner-T’, which will support station staff for customer service.

The ‘Finder-T’ and ‘Guider-T’ robots will be used to address passenger queries regarding journey planning and mapping functions.

‘Checker-T’ will look after the station when it closes at night and oversee the status of the facilities using image analysis.

The two types of ‘Cleaner-T’ feature water filtration systems will clean the station automatically using eco-technology after service each day.

The robots are still in the learning phase and need continuous testing and adjustment.

MTR has also introduced real-time monitoring equipment on the East Rail Line to study the state of pantographs during operations.

MTR operations director Tony Lee said: “MTR has been making use of new technology and equipment to assist staff in daily routine tasks and enhancing efficiency.

“Technology enables our station operations team to enhance customer service delivery and the maintenance team on 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.”

In March, MTR deployed an automated Vapourised Hydrogen Peroxide Robot (VHP Robot) to perform deep cleaning and decontamination in train compartments and stations.