Kerala to use robots to clean sewers, end manual scavenging

Robots will soon replace men in cleaning up sewer holes in Kerala, ending the age-old practice of manual scavenging in the southern state. ‘Bandicoot’, the robot developed by the startup firm Genrobotics, will be used for cleaning sewer holes.

The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) and Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) on Thursday signed an MoU for transfer of technology and products, including use of the robots for the purpose. The MoU was signed between Kerala Water Innovation Zone under KWA and KSUM at the Chief Minister’s office in Thiruvananthapuram, a statement said here.

‘Bandicoot’ will start its work, so far mostly done manually, by cleaning sewer holes in the city during the coming famed Attukal Pongala festival in Thiruvananthapuram in March, it said.

The robot has four limbs and a bucket system attached to a spider web looking extension, which can go inside the manhole.

After shoveling the heap of garbage at the bottom of the manhole, it will be collected by using the bucket system before lifting it upward. It also has Wi-Fi and bluetooth modules, it said.

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