Home/ News / India/  This state becomes first to use robotic scavengers to clean manholes

The Kerala government on Friday launched robotic scavenger, Bandicoot, to clean sewages in this temple town, becoming the first state in the country to use robotic technology to clean all its commissioned manholes. Water Resources Minister, Roshi Augustine, launched Bandicoot 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. 

"With the launch of the project in Guruvayur, manual scavenging in Kerala has ended. Now Kerala has become the first state in the country to use robotic scavengers to clean manholes," Minister claimed in a release. 

The robotic Tron Unit, which is the major component of Bandicoot, enters the manhole and removes sewage using robotic hands, similar to a man's limbs, the release, adding that the machine has waterproof, HD vision cameras and sensors that can detect harmful gases inside the manholes. Bandicoot, developed by Kerala-based Genrobotics, had recently bagged 'Kerala Pride' award at the Huddle Global 2022 conclave organised by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM). 

Inaugurating the robotic scavenger in Guruvayur Municipality, Augustine said it was a major step towards use of technology-driven solutions for manhole cleaning across the state. 

"With the deployment of Bandicoot in Guruvayur, all the commissioned manholes have been transformed into robotic revolution. A special team of KWA officials will be constituted for the operation of robotic cleaning in Guruvayur... The modernisation of the sewerage system will help contain the spread of epidemics and serious health challenges caused by them," the minister noted. 

At the function held at P Krishna Pillai Square here, Director of Genrobotic Innovations, Vimal Govind M K, briefed the gathering about the technology. He said Bandicoot will be cleaning all the commissioned sewerage and drainages in Kerala. Bandicoot robots are currently deployed in few towns across 17 states in India and three Union Territories. 

In 2018, KWA started using Bandicoot to clean the manholes in Thiruvananthapuram. Later, it was introduced in Ernakulam also, the release said. Genrobotics, a Technopark-based company, have developed "the world's first robotic scavenger" Bandicoot in an effort to eliminate manual scavenging providing respite for workers engaged in manhole cleaning.

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Updated: 24 Feb 2023, 11:29 PM IST
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