Robotic scavenger ‘Bandicoot,’ product of a Kerala-based start-up, would soon be cleaning sewers in the temple town of Kumbakonam in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. The product was handed over to Kumbakonam Municipality by the Indian Oil Corporation as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
The machine was recently launched by Commissioner of Municipal Administration, Tamil Nadu, G Prakash in the presence of Kumbakonam sub-collector M Pradeep Kumar, General Manager (HR), Indian Oil, Tamil Nadu were among those present, an IOC press release said. There are about 5,000 manholes in Kumbakonam Municipality which are to be regularly cleaned.
The Municipality has been cleaning approximately 400-500 sewer manholes a month using mechanical arms. The procedure is cumbersome and involves manual intervention at times, it said. In order to automate these works, Indian Oil has provided the manhole cleaning Robo, Muncipal Commissioner of Kumbakonam Municipality, Uma Maheswari said.
The robot has been developed by Genrobotics, Thiruvananthapuram, a start-up promoted by a group of engineers from Kerala. The innovative product has the potential to eliminate manual scavenging and effectively clean the sewage and manholes, thus saving many precious human lives, Chief Executive Officer of Genrobotics, Vimal Govind claimed.
The Kerala government would also be utilising the services of Robots to clean sewer holes, he said. The robot, equipped with Wi-Fi, bluetooth and control panels has four limbs and a bucket system attached to a spider web looking extension to scoop out the waste from sewers.
The project is supported by Kerala Water Authority (KWA), which has joined hands with Kerala start-up mission to transform new ideas into practical technologies for addressing issues relating to pipe leakage and sanitation.