100 Bandicoot robots to clean storm water drains in city

In a move that would ensure that the workers do not put their lives at risk while cleaning drains, the Greater Chennai Corporation has decided to procure 100 Bandicoot robots to desilt the drain network crisscrossing the metropolis.
100 Bandicoot robots to clean storm water drains in city

Chennai

With each bandicoot robot costing around Rs 10 lakh, the total cost of 100 robots that the civic body is planning to purchase will be about Rs 10 crore. According to a Chennai Corporation official, the robots would be procured by utilising State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF). “These robots can be useful in cleaning big storm water drains with the dimension of 4 feet height and 4 feet width,” the official said.

The official added that the robots could be lowered into the drains through manholes. The machines are fitted with night vision cameras to relay the silt removal process to the officials, making it easier for them to manoeuvrethe robot.

Bandicoot robots that are manufactured in India are being used to desilt storm water drains in Coimbatore, Kumbakonam and Thanjavur. A few months ago, Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash and other officials witnessed a demonstration of the robots, following which the procurement of robots has been approved.

Using these robots, the desilting work that would take two hours manually could be completed in just 20 minutes. Its robotic arms can also remove sludge, sewage and solid material from the drains.

As of now, the civic body deploys workers to enter the drains and desilt. In some places, the drains are broken to make them accessible. The Chennai Corporation maintains over 2,076 km storm water drain network, which is to be desilted before the start of monsoon every year.
  • The robot was developed by Genrobotics, a company founded by nine young engineers in Thiruvananthapuram
  • The spider-shaped robot cleans manholes and sewers with precision
  • The robot lifts the metal cover on its own, drops its arm into the manhole, scoops out the solid waste and dumps it in a bucket

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