Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) and Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) have signed an MOU for transfer of technology and products including the use of robots for cleaning up manholes, thereby ending the age-old practice of manual scavenging.
Under the MoU signed between Kerala Water Innovation Zone under KWA and KSUM at the Chief Minister’s office on Thursday, the robot, ‘Bandicoot,’ developed by startup firm Genrobotics, will be used for cleaning manholes.
‘Bandicoot’ will start its work, by cleaning sewer holes in the city during the famous Attukal Pongala festival in Thiruvananthapuram in March.
The Bandicoot 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 upward. It also has Wi-Fi and bluetooth modules.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan; Minister for Water Resources Shri Mathew. T. Thomas; IT Secretary M. Sivasankar; KSUM CEO Dr. Saji Gopinath; Additional Chief Secretary, Water Resources, Tom Jose were among those who were present.
KSUM had funded the project by Genrobotics, which conducted a field study to find a solution for the age-old practice of manual scavenging.
The KSUM is a nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.