Kumbakonam recently became the first town in Kerala to acquire Bandicoot, a robotic system to try and do away with manual scavenging.
“Our main objective is end manual scavenging, which has casteist roots in many parts of the country. Many lives continue to be lost to manual scavenging and when the Kerala government threw an open challenge seeking solutions to end the problem we decided to come up with a technology-driven solution,” said Mr. Govind Prakash, the Commissioner of Municipal Administration.
The Bandicoot Robotic Scavenger, developed by Genrobotics, a start-up promoted by a group of engineers from Kerala, would clear over 5,300 manholes of the underground sewer system in the temple town in the heart of the Granary of South India.
The Municipality has been cleaning approximately 5,000 sewer manholes a month using mechanical arms. The procedure is cumbersome and involves manual intervention at times.
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In order to automate these works, IndianOil has provided the manhole cleaning Robot. The innovative product has the potential to eliminate manual scavenging and effectively clean the sewage and manholes, thus saving many precious human lives.
Bandicoot will provide a dignified and safe work environment for sanitary workers engaged in cleaning manholes and sewers.
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.