Kochi Corporation deploys manhole-cleaning robot

Updated - May 31, 2023 10:43 pm IST

Published - May 31, 2023 10:42 pm IST - KOCHI

The manhole cleaning robot, Bandicoot, in action in Kochi on Wednesday.

The manhole cleaning robot, Bandicoot, in action in Kochi on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The Kochi Corporation began deploying the famed ‘Bandicoot’ manhole-cleaning robot in the city on Wednesday.

Bandicoot robotic technology is used for cleaning sewerage and to eradicate the practice of manual scavenging. The robotic machine, which can clean any type of sewer manholes, has a stand unit and a robotic drone unit. The drone unit will be dropped into the manholes for cleaning and de-clogging operations. The diving depth of the robotic drone can be customised, according to Genrobotic Innovations, the start-up firm that introduced the facility.

Sanitation workers can operate the robot in a hassle-free manner. Video footage of cleaning can be obtained on screen. The robotic arm, a replica of human arm, performs grabbing, picking and shovelling actions and enables efficient cleaning by sweeping all solid waste, silt, and debris deposited in the nooks and corners of manholes, claimed the firm.

The waste collected is brought to the surface by an integrated bucket system. The Bandicoot comes with four waterproof cameras through which the video footage is obtained. The life span of the robot is extendable up to 10 years, the firm claimed.

Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) funded the project of the Corporation by offering ₹39.52 lakh from its corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds.

Mayor M. Anilkumar launched the machine at a function held near the Kerala Water Authority office complex on Hospital Road. The robot was then deployed for cleaning the drain on the road, said a communication from the civic body.

Madhu S. Nair, Chairman and Managing Director of CSL, and Vimal Govind, CEO of the start-up, spoke. Deputy Mayor K.A. Ansiya presided over the function. Civic representatives and officials of the Corporation were present.

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