Kerala became the first state in the country to use robotics technology for cleaning all its commissioned manholes by pressing into service the robotic scavenger Bandicoot in the temple town of Guruvayur.

Bandicoot is inducted under the Guruvayur Sewerage Project by Kerala Water Authority (KWA), as part of the 100-day action plan of the State Government. Commissioning of manholes is the process of connecting households, hotels and other establishments to the network of sewerage system.

Bandicoot, developed by Kerala-based Genrobotics, is already in use in urban bodies across the country, phasing out the practice of sanitation workers physically entering the manholes. Genrobotics has recently bagged ‘Kerala Pride’ award at the Huddle Global 2022 conclave organised by the Kerala Startup Mission.

Kerala Minister for Water Resources Roshi Augustine inaugurated the deployment of Bandicoot in the Municipality. He said the launch of robotic scavenger in Guruvayur Municipality marked a major step towards use of technology-driven solutions for manhole cleaning across the state.

Smart manhole cleaning system

With the Bandicoot’s deployment, all the commissioned manholes have been transformed into robotic revolution. A special team of KWA officials will be constituted for the operation of robotic cleaning in Guruvayur. The modernisation of sewerage system will help contain the spread epidemics and serious health challenges caused by them, the Minister said.

MK Vimal Govind, Director of Genrobotic Innovations said Bandicoot will be cleaning all the commissioned sewerage and drainages in Kerala as the State has embraced the smart manhole cleaning system.

Beginning as a startup, Genrobotics made a big impact by developing the world’s first robotic scavenger Bandicoot to eliminate manual scavenging, providing a respite for workers engaged in manhole cleaning.

Bandicoot robots are currently deployed in 17 States and three Union Territories. In 2018, KWA started using Bandicoot to clean the manholes in Thiruvananthapuram. Later, it was introduced in Ernakulam, also.

The robotic Tron Unit, which is the major component of Bandicoot, enters the manhole and removes sewage using robotic hands, similar to a man’s limbs. It has waterproof, HD vision cameras and gas sensors that can identify harmful gases inside the manhole.