MEET Westhoughton's very own virus zapping robot which is currently working overtime to keep the town safe from covid.

It may look like a droid straight off a Star Wars set, but this machine is busy visiting schools, kids clubs and businesses helping the stay covid safe as part of a big community effort during the coronavirus pandemic.

Owner Jamie Blair said: "I have lived in Westhoughton for 20 years, I'm part of the community and just want to do something to help others during this time.

"Our target areas are hospitals and food manufacturing plants and they would purchase this.

"Schools are working tirelessly to adapt to the changes and I will do whatever I can to help and provide that extra layer of protection.

Jamie the UK sales counterpart for Xenex, the US firm which developed the robot,

The LightStrike Robot emits what is described as 'intense pulsed xenon UV light' to quickly deactivate harmful viruses, bacteria and spores as part of infection control ­— including SARS-CoV-2, the

pathogen that causes COVID-19.

First stop was Jamie's old school, Sacred Heart Primary School, where the robot disinfected the early years, reception, the hall and staff room.

Normally the robot would be ordered and used by the buyer for infection control, but in these challenging times Jamie is using his model to provide this service to local businesses and schools to help keep key workers and children safe.

He said: "My children also attend Scared Heart and I said if the school needed me again I would do it. It took me an hour and half to do the school."

Jamie has also visited his local greengrocer and has other schools and businesses he will help make covid-secure.

And he is hoping to take the robot to other schools that need its help during the pandemic.