In a major step towards solving ground-level issues with innovation, students of a college in Kerala's Kochi developed a robot that can help clear clogged drains and prevent human intervention for the task.
The robot—'Tunnel Rat' was developed by students of Toc H Institute of Science and Technology (TIST) for the residents of Chottanikara panchayat.
The robot was designed by the institute as part of the education ministry's 'Unnath Bharat Abhiyan' which was implemented to let the higher educational institutions form a partnership and work with villages by adopting them.
The students are expected to contribute to rural development by leveraging their knowledge and solving grassroots-level concerns. Under this initiative, the participating institutes pick local bodies and interact with the villagers to understand the problems and devise a plan.
Developing Tunnel Rat
The local authorities sought help, from students of TIST, to clean clogged drains in the village. The electronics and robotics department of the college designed the robot under their 'Impact Lab' initiative.
The machine is being termed as a 'gutter cleaning' robot that can be managed through remote control. It can monitor obstacles inside the drain and use its arm to collect and pull the waste from the drain hole.
"It is not a prototype, but a working bot which can be used directly. We have demonstrated the working to the local body members," said electronics department head Deepa Elizabeth, as per The Times of India.
She further highlighted that the students had an elaborate discussion with the panchayat officials and the department heads. After the discussion, the student had submitted five proposals for consideration, and three out of them were sanctioned.