China uses mini-tanks to spray disinfectant to fight coronavirus
17th February 2020
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Chinese city uses remote-controlled mini-tanks to spray disinfectant in residential areas hit by coronavirus

  • The unmanned devices travel at 2.7 miles per hour, or four feet per second 
  • They can carry 440 lbs of disinfectant and sterilise a 12-acre area per hour 
  • A fleet of such devices have been deployed by officials of Taiyuan, Shanxi
  • Elsewhere in China, authorities have used drones to spray the disinfectant 

A Chinese city has deployed a fleet of remote-controlled mini-tanks to spray disinfectant in residential areas hit by the novel coronavirus.

The unmanned machines travel at about 2.7 miles per hour, or four feet per second, and can sterilise a 12-acre area per hour, according to a spokesperson.

They have appeared in various neighbourhoods in Taiyuan, central China’s Shanxi Province, since February 4.


Disinfectant-spray mini-tanks have appeared in various neighbourhoods in Taiyuan, central China’s Shanxi Province, since February 4. They carry out sanitising works twice a day


The unmanned machines allow health workers to decontaminate coronavirus-hit areas without running the risk of being infected by the deadly disease, which has killed at least 1,775 people

Each of these devices can carry 440 pounds of disinfectant and spray the liquid in a radius of 26 feet, according to Hou Yongfei, deputy director of Shanxi Provincial Drone Association.

They were previously used by prison to carry out sanitising works or by farmers to distribute pesticides.

‘Now any residential complex with confirmed cases will be disinfected [by them] twice a day,’ Mr Hou told Chinese news outlet The Paper.

He said the mini-tanks allowed health workers to decontaminate virus-hit areas without running the risk of being infected by the deadly disease, which has killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 71,440 globally.

One of the areas is Chenjing Tiandi Residential District, a large complex with more than 2,700 households. 


The devices travel at about 2.7 miles per hour and can sterilise a 12-acre area per hour. They were previously used by prison to carry out sanitising works or by farmers to spray pesticides

‘Our residential complex is densely populated and covers an area of 2.5 acres,’ an official told Pear Video. 

‘Yesterday, two tanks came to our complex and went into all buildings, corridors and courtyards for disinfection.

‘The result was good and it was very convenient,’ he added. 

Elsewhere in China, officials in the provinces of Jilin, Shandong and Zhejiang have enlisted drones to spray disinfectant.

Footage from last month captured the drones hovering several metres above the ground as disinfectant liquid is sprayed from the underside of each machine.

One villager in the city of Heze, Shandong, offered his personal drone which was used to disinfect an area of four acres in a single morning. 


An army of drones has been deployed in China to spray disinfectant over villages and cities that have been hit by coronavirus. It is thought that the airborne devices are currently being used in the coastal provinces of Jilin, Shandong and Zhejiang

Nearly 1,800 people across the world have now died from the killer coronavirus that is rapidly sweeping the planet.

And more than 71,430 have caught the virus, formally known as COVID-19, including 454 on a cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan.

Ninety-five per cent of the 2,000 new cases recorded yesterday were diagnosed in Hubei, the deserted Chinese province at the centre of the crisis.  

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