Manual scavenging: A dirty job that could soon be consigned to bin

Bandicoot, Genrobotics’ robotic scavenger, promises to end manual scavenging, offering safety and dignity to sanitation workers.

manual scavenging
The Bandicoot robot is designed to mimic human movements with the help of AI.

Manual scavenging is an inhuman job given its nature and the risks it poses, such as asphyxiation. Thankfully, technology is around that can put an end to this archaic practice. Thiruvananthapuram-based deep-tech startup Genrobotics’ robotic scavenger, Bandicoot, is one such example. It promises to help eradicate manual scavenging and offer safety and dignity to workers in the sanitation and oil and gas sectors.

The Bandicoot robot helps clean confined spaces such as sewers, manholes, sewer wells, storm water manholes, oily water sewers (OWS) and storm water sewers (SWS) in refineries. Smart cities, Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), refineries, multinational companies, townships and housing colonies across 14 states are already deploying Bandicoot robots to eliminate humans doing such tasks manually.

Recently, Zoho announced an investment of Rs 20 crore in Genrobotics. The funds will be utilised to deploy over one lakh Bandicoot robots across the country and help expand the firm’s product portfolio to the healthcare sector. Genrobotics had recently ventured into healthcare, launching a robot-assisted gait training solution – G Gaiter – to aid the recovery of people with paraplegia through improved rehabilitation experiences.

“We believe that robotics and AI can help build a better and safer world for future generations,” said Vimal Govind MK, CEO & co-founder of Genrobotics. “Bandicoot, which combines the use of human intelligence and AI, is transforming the sanitation and oil and gas sectors by offering an alternative to the dangerous practice of manual cleaning.”

The Bandicoot robot is designed to mimic human movements with the help of AI. It can perform actions such as shovelling, grabbing, picking and water-jet positioning necessary for various types of cleaning. It is equipped with a sensor to detect poisonous gases and has four specially designed IP68 night vision cameras that provide visuals through the user interface located safely above the confined space, enabling sanitation workers to do their job safely and efficiently.

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