In a welcome move, the Kerala government launched the long-awaited means of substituting manual cleaning of manholes with an automatic method using robotic scavengers in order to clean all its commissioned manholes.
The robotic scavenger known as Bandicoot was launched in the temple town of Guruvayur where it is being engaged under the Guruvayur Sewerage Project in Thrissur district by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA), as part of the 100-day action plan of the state government. Water Resources Minister, Roshi Augustine said, “With the launch of the project in Guruvayur, manual scavenging in Kerala has ended and Kerala has become the first state in the country to use robotic scavengers to clean manholes.”
With this Kerala became the first in the country to eliminate manual scavenging providing respite for workers employed in manual manhole cleaning. Bandicoot robots are currently being used in few cities across 17 states and 3 union territories in the country after it first began trial operations in Thiruvananthapuram way back in 2018.
The robot is named after an omnivore animal ‘Bandicoot’ present in Australia which is known for digging. The robot Bandicoot also operates just like the animal and consists of a robotic Tron unit which operates just like the limb of a human. The machine boasts of being waterproof and fireproof, and it also has state-of-the-art HD vision cameras and sensors that can detect harmful gases.
The futuristic robot has been developed by Kerala-based Genrobotics, and the instrument recently received the ‘Kerala Pride’ award at the Huddle Global 2022 conclave organized by Kerala Startup Mission. By using this kind of modern technology, the sewerage system will help in minimizing the spread of epidemics and serious health issues caused by them.