New Delhi: There is some good news for human scavengers. In a first for the region, smart robots will soon begin cleaning clogged sewers and the project will begin from Uttar Pradesh`s Prayagraj.
The state government has made available three Bandicoot robotic scavengers to Prayagraj Nagar Nigam (PNN) and Jalkal department — the two main bodies entrusted with the task of upkeep of drains and sewers — for the task.
They would be pressed into full-fledged service after Holi, officials said. Bandicoot is a robotic machine that is engineered for cleaning any type of sewer manholes. The robot consists of two major units — a stand unit and a robotic drone unit. The drone unit is the one that dives into the manholes for the cleaning operations or unblocking operations. The diving depth of the robotic drone is customisable according to the maximum depth needed for the job, the officials said.
General manager, Jalkal department, Kumar Gaurav said the government had provided three Bandicoot robots costing Rs 1.18 crore that will do the work of workers who were until now engaged to clean drains and sewers. Fully automatic, the robots will directly enter the deep sewer line through the manhole and clean it, he said. Civic officials said that the robots will prove to be a game changer as they provide a safe and efficient alternative to manual scavenging, which is not only hazardous but also compromises the dignity of sanitation workers. Officials said that the move is part of the Swachh Survekshan-2023 and Safai Mitra Suraksha Protocol, which aims to create a clean and healthy environment for sanitation workers and the community as a whole.
Apart from Prayagraj other regions like Kanpur, Aligarh, Greater Noida in the state too have embraced these Bandicoot robotic scavengers. These robots, developed by the Kerala-based national award-winning startup Genrobotics, are expected to be especially helpful in the light that 20 new wards have been added to the Prayagraj Nagar Nigam recently following increasing of the city limits.
These robots have an add-on feature, Nano coating that enables them to perform operation in any hazardous or corrosive sewerage environments effectively for a longer period. It has the flexibility to perform more efficient cleaning than humans in terms of time and efficiency of manhole cleaning. The drone unit is equipped with an extendable robotic arm with four degrees of freedom to perform grabbing, shovelling and unblocking actions inside the manholes.