Kerala Startup Firm Develops Robot To Replace Manual Scavengers, Solution To End The Abominable Practice

Anoopa Sebastian

January 12th, 2018

manual scavenging

GenRobotics, a startup company, based in Trivandrum has developed a robot called ‘Bandicoot’ to end the age-old practice of manual scavenging in the southern state. As far as these young techies are concerned, technology is not for money-making purposes only; rather they find it a way to solve social malaise.

“After the completion of our studies, we were eager to use the technology to serve the society. This proposal to develop a robot came from the Kerala Government, and it was a challenge for us,” said Rashid Bin Abdulla, one of the founding members of GenRobotics to The Logical Indian.

The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) signed the MoU at Chief Minister’s office for transfer of technology and products, including the use of the robots for the scavenging purpose. The government in a statement informed that the robot would start functioning in the capital during the coming Attkal Ponkala, in March. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Minister for Water Resources Mathew T Thomas, IT Secretary M Sivasankar, KSUM CEO Saji Gopinath, Additional Chief Secretary, Water Resources Tom Jose, KWA officials and eight representatives from Genrobotics were present at the occasion.

How Does It Function?

This spider model robot has four limbs and bucket system attached to it. It can go inside the manhole and collect the waste. It also has a WiFi and Bluetooth modules. It can also perform other underwater activities. The machine weighs 80 kg. The robot can manage 3-hour work by three workers in 30 minutes, claims Rashid.

The Reason

The proposal came after a mishap occurred in Kozhikode district, when Noushad, an autorickshaw driver died along with two migrant labourers. The incident happened when Noushad tried to save two migrant labourers who were trapped in the manhole. But three of them died on the spot.

What Next?

GenRobotics was founded by Vimal Govind, Rashid K, Nikhil NP and Arun George and the team consist of nine members. ‘Bandicoot’ has received the patent from India, and the company has applied for the world patent applicable in 150 countries. “We have already received enquiries from other states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Delhi”, said Rashid. The young engineers are happy because they had a natural flair to serve the society.

The Logical Indian appreciates the efforts and hopes that the model is implemented throughout the country and bring an end to the practice of manual scavenging.

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