Pune, 4th May: The Pune Municipal Corporation has introduced three advanced robots named “Bandicoot” to clean and maintain the manholes in the city safely without workers entering the manholes. This initiative is in line with the vision of Pune Smart City to bring more safety in the maintenance of the manholes of the city by using advanced technologies.
Manual cleaning requires humans to enter manholes and physically clean them and this practice has claimed the lives of many workers. To solve this challenge, PMC now uses robots to clean the sewers. This initiative provides safer and dignified employment opportunities for sanitation workers as robot operators with training and rehabilitation programs. The Bandicoot robot user interface is designed for manual scavengers, which is interactive. , and friendly, and would also offer a dignified work profile for these workers.
The Bandicoot robot is the world’s first manhole cleaning robot developed under the initiative “MakeInIndia” and “Swachh Bharat” by the national award-winning start-up – Genrobotics. The Bandicoot robot comes with a human-like robotic arm and various sensors that help the robot perform the cleaning action more efficiently. These robots are also equipped with 4 special IP68 waterproof cameras to clean manholes more accurately and efficiently even in low light conditions.
City Commissioner Vikram Kumar launched the Bandicoot robots on May 2, 22 at the Pune MC office. Other dignitaries like CEO of Pune Smart City, Dr. Sanjay Kolte IAS, Additional Commissioner of Pune Municipal Corporation, Dr. Kunal Khemnar IAS, MLA Shri Sunil Tingre, Member of Hadapsar Vidhan Sabha, Engineer in Chief Sri. Shrinivas Kandul, CKO Pune Smart City Shri.Annirudha Shahpure and Superintendent Drainage Service Engineer Santosh Tandale attended the event.
Bandicoot robotic technology is the winner of the AMRUT Tech Challenge award as a promising innovative solution for sanitation by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India. This technology has also been exported to other countries to improve safety in confined spaces such as sewer manholes, refinery pits, etc.
How does a Bandicoot robot work?
Bandicoot robots can perform all actions a human can perform inside the manhole and can clean manholes more efficiently than a human using the most advanced technologies like robotics and AI. It is also equipped with toxic gas sensors, which help operators know about the presence of toxic gases inside manholes, as it is one of the most common causes of manhole accidents.
Bandicoot can converge its diameter by using its legs to enter the unseen depths of the manholes and after entering the manholes it will use its legs to move around and gain stability inside the manhole while extracting solid waste. Its specially designed robotic arm performs multiple operations such as shoveling, grabbing and pulling waste even from the corners of the manhole, which helps liquid waste flow naturally into the sewer system. This procedure is more effective in cleaning manholes than any other conventional process. cleaning methodologies.
The robot has specially designed night vision, water and sewer cameras so that the depth and darkness of the looks are no longer a threat. After collecting all the trash using its robotic arm from every corner, its smart bucket system will collect the trash and remove it from the manhole. These robots can be electrically powered by direct electricity, generators or batteries.
The robot has simple control functions, which make it easy for sanitation workers to handle, and it also comes with a built-in training aid that helps these workers learn the operation through symbolic graphical representations. The operator can operate the robot with one key control and it’s as easy as playing a mobile phone game. Bandicoot can also be used for manhole inspection. In addition to an awareness program on the harmful effects of manual emptying, medical examinations and the distribution of PPE kits will also be carried out during the project to psychologically prepare the sanitation workers to be the operators of the robot. This will create a socio-economic impact on sanitation workers and it can provide a better and dignified way of life for the hand picker community.
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