Over 1,000 students participated at the national championship of the World Robot Olympiad 2016, where this year’s theme ‘Rap the scrap’ focuses on waste management. The championship has been jointly organised by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) and India STEM Foundation.
“Not many people know that 60 per cent of waste generated by a household is recyclable. People just dump their waste anywhere. We have designed three different robots in a mechanised disposable system which will collect and segregate waste before sending them to a recycling plant,” said nine-year-old Shardul Sachin Kakade from Swami Vivekananda Primary School at Chembur in Mumbai.
Three 12-year-old students from Kendriya Vidyalaya in Burdwan said they were unhappy about the way bio-medical waste was handled in government hospitals, and said given the infrastructure and opportunity, they would like to develop robots as a solution.
“It is sad to see the condition of state hospitals. People litter any kind of waste anywhere. That can be bio-hazardous, and can also spread a number of diseases, besides the foul smell which emanates. Blood-soaked cottons and injection syringes too are strewn here and there at government hospitals,” said Kushal Kumar Nandi, one of the trio. He suggested that people should be made aware of the situation, and places should be designated for patients to dump waste which will then be collected, segregated and disposed of using robots, which would help prevent spread of diseases.
In another case, three 14-year-old students from Birla Industrial and Technological Museum have been working on a robot which would remove metal waste from water bodies in and around the city.
“It works using sonar and electromagnetic technology. Later we intend to improvise it and add a claw so that every year, after immersion of thousands of idols after Durga Puja, those can be easily removed by civic bodies.
Of over 10,000 students who had participated across the country, 245 teams qualified for the national championship. The theme was selected in an attempt to find an innovative solution to reduce, manage and recycle waste, using robots. Winners of the national championship will represent India in the international championship, to be held at Greater Noida from November 25-27, where more than 2,000 people from 55 countries are expected to participate.