Kerala to employ robot ‘Bandicoot’ for manual scavenging

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launches ‘Bandicoot’ in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday (Source: Twitter/@CMOKerala)

Susmitha Suresh

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday launched an initiative to end the practice of manual scavenging in the state and deploy robots to clean the sewers. ‘Bandicoot,’ a robot developed by startup Genrobotics, will gradually be deployed across the state after testing it in Thiruvananthapuram, reported The New Indian Express.

Genrobotics team with Bandicoot (Source: Genrobotics)

Armed with four limbs and a bucket system,  it can be lowered into manholes, shovel garbage and sewage, and clear blockages. It is enabled with WiFi and Bluetooth, reported news agency PTI.

Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister said, “From now on, robots will clean manholes. It is hoped that this technology will bring an end to the dangerous practice of cleaning sewers manually.”

The launch of Bandicoot was done in Thiruvananthapuram yesterday, in association with the Kerala Water Authority (KWA), which had also conducted research on the issue. Genrobotics’ project was funded by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), a nodal agency of the state government.

The twitterati community was filled with positive thoughts for the move that takes away a very risk filled employment option:

Many called out Modi, asking him to follow the example of the Kerala CM:

Inputs: The Indian Express, PTI