Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday launched an initiative to end the practice of manual scavenging in the state and deploy robots to clean the sewers. ‘Bandicoot,’ a robot developed by startup Genrobotics, will gradually be deployed across the state after testing it in Thiruvananthapuram.
Armed with four limbs and a bucket system, it can be lowered into manholes, shovel garbage and sewage, and clear blockages. It is enabled with WiFi and Bluetooth, reported news agency PTI.
Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister said, “From now on, robots will clean manholes. It is hoped that this technology will bring an end to the dangerous practice of cleaning sewers manually.”
The launch of Bandicoot was done in Thiruvananthapuram yesterday, in association with the Kerala Water Authority (KWA), which had also conducted research on the issue. Genrobotics’ project was funded by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), a nodal agency of the state government.
From now on, robots will clean manholes. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the initiative in Thiruvananthapuram. It is hoped that this technology will bring an end to the dangerous practice of cleaning sewers manually. pic.twitter.com/wSZlj2YV4a
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) February 26, 2018
The robot is powered by pneumatics (using gas or pressurised air) as the use of heavy electronic equipment inside a manhole is risky and can react with explosive gases, reported PTI.
Genrobotics plans on marketing its technology to other states in the coming months. Tamil Nadu has reportedly enquired about it as well.
(With inputs from PTI)