Kerala to soon deploy robots to clean up manholes

Feb 19, 2018 16:33 IST
Kerala to soon deploy robots to clean up manholes

The Kerala government will soon be utilising the services of robots to clean the sewer holes in the state.The robots have been developed by a startup company called Genrobotics.

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.

An agreement has already been signed between the Kerala Water Innovation Zone under the KWA and Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) for the transfer of technology.

Key Features

• Named 'Bandicoot', the robots are equipped with Wi-Fi, blue tooth and control panels.

• They have four limbs and a bucket system attached to a spider web looking extension to scoop out the waste from sewers.

• The services of the robot will be initially utilised in Kerala’s capital city Thiruvananthapuram, which has over 5,000 manholes.

• The robotic system is aimed at the complete elimination of manual scavenging.

• The trial runs of the robots were conducted successfully in the state capital. They will be launched next week.

About the Project

• The robots have been developed by a nine-member group comprising youngsters from varying engineering streams.

• The youngsters gave up their steady jobs to find a solution to end manual scavenging in an effort to bring in some resemblance of dignity to the lives of those, who put in endless effort to clean the sewers for a meager amount ranging between Rs 300- 500.

• The team took 7-8 months to design the semi-automatic robot.

• During the trials, nearly 30 kg of garbage was pulled out by the robot.

• Within an hour, the robot could clean four manholes on the first day itself with ease.

• The makers did not face any problem to manoeuvre its way to different types of manholes.

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• The invention would bring about a significant change in maintaining proper hygiene and ensuring a well-working drainage system.

• It would especially be a great help in areas that face major water logging during incessant rains.

• It would also help reduce manhole-related accidents.

• It could, however, lead to the loss of the source of livelihood for those who make a living out of cleaning the drains.

However, according to the Chief Operating Officer of the start-up company, their plan is to train the existing workers to operate the robot, which is as easy to operate as a remote-controlled toy car. Though all the commands in the user interface are English, they can be converted to any local language for easy understanding.

The robots will start their operations by cleaning the sewer holes in the city on March 2, 2018, during a state festival ‘Attukal Pongala’

About GenRobotics

• The company was founded in 2015 by a team of passionate engineers in Robotics and Defence engineering.

• It is specialised in powered robotic exoskeletons with RC Controlled Humanoid Robotic Systems and Artificial Intelligence.

• Exoskeletons are robotic suits that can help humans to reduce physical effort required during heavy jobs.

• The company designs and develops robots in order to find the best solution for social impotent issues.

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Read More Current Affairs

Quick Digest

Who: Kerala

What: To use robots

Why: To clean up manholes

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