On 1st January 2018, 5 workers were employed to clean a sewer line in Mumbai which runs 10 meters below ground level. While being pulled out by a crane, the rope snapped and they fell 9 meters into the sewer. Only 1 survived the fall.

39 lives were lost to manual scavenging within a period of 100 days last year. Tragically, the situation isn’t looking any better in the new year as 7 people lost their lives within the first 7 days of the month.

More than 2 decades ago, the Government enacted the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act of 1993 which banned the hiring of manual scavengers and the construction of latrines that do not operate with a flush.

In spite of this, manual scavenging is still a persistent problem across the country. Without an alternative solution to clogged manholes, workers will keep getting employed to carry out this hazardous job.

Kerala has decided to pave the way for an innovate solution to the problem by getting robots to replace manual scavengers. Here’s how a team of robotic geniuses from the state’s capital put their heads together for a social cause-

GenRobotics, a Thiruvananthapuram-based start-up company, is on a mission to transform “manholes” to “roboholes”

They developed ‘Bandicoot’ – a semi-automatic robotic system that can clean manholes and sewer lines.

Bandicoots come with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a screen and a camera. They can enter manholes and scoop out waste into the attached buckets.

Read More: India’s First Chatbot For Educational Institutes Is Here To Automate The Learning Sector


The team aims at improvement with robots, not unemployment. Thus, the user interface is designed in a way that almost anyone can operate it.

Kerala is thus taking the first step to eliminate the dangers of manual scavenging in the country.

The Bandicoots will start their operations this March by cleaning sewer holes in Thiruvananthapuram during the Attukal Pongala festival.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: GenRobotics, The News Minute, Scroll + more

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