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Kerala to use robots to clean sewers, end manual-scavenging

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

Robots will soon replace men in cleaning up sewer holes in Kerala, ending the age-old practice of in the southern state.

'Bandicoot', the developed by the startup firm Genrobotics, will be used for cleaning sewer holes.

The Water Authority (KWA) and Startup Mission (KSUM) today signed an MoU for transfer of technology and products, including use of the robots for the purpose.

The MoU was signed between Water Innovation Zone under KWA and at the Chief Minister's office here, a statement said here.

'Bandicoot' will start its work, so far mostly done manually, by cleaning sewer holes in the city during the coming famed Attukal Pongala festival in Thiruvananthapuram in March, it said.

The has four limbs and a bucket system attached to a spider web looking extension, which can go inside the manhole.

After shoveling the heap of garbage at the bottom of the manhole, it will be collected by using the bucket system before lifting it upward.

It also has Wi-Fi and modules, it said.

Pinarayi Vijayan, for Water Resources Mathew T Thomas, IT M Sivasankar, Saji Gopinath, Additional Chief Secretary, Water Resources,Tom Jose, KWA officials and eight representatives from were present on the occasion.

had funded for the project by Genrobotics, which conducted a field study to find a solution for manual scavenging.

Meanwhile, KWA is also also conducting research on the issue following the Chief Minister's instruction to find a remedy for it.

is planning to market the product within six months.

It hasalready got enquiries from states like to take it to the national-level.

Founded in 2015, specialises in powered exoskeletons and

The is powered by pneumatics (using gas or pressurised air) since using inside is risky as they can react with the explosive gases present in the manhole.

The KSUM is a nodal agency of the for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 19:40 IST