Page 51 - April 2021
P. 51

         exoskeleton is a wearable mobile ma- chine that allows limb movement with increased strength and endurance. Such machines are used by soldiers to carry heavy objects and by firefighters during emergency operations.
In 2017, the company developed the first version of the robot. GenRobot- ics’ innovation, the Bandicoot, cleans manholes remotely using robotic arms and computer vision. It uses pneumatic and electric actuators, infrared cameras, sensors and Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites
(CFRP). This robot
can do all the work
that a man does inside
the manhole. The in-
novation is remotely
operated and can clean
up to ten manholes a
day. It is engineered
for cleaning any type
of sewer manholes. It
can clean wastes like
hard rocks, sand, silt,
sludge, non-biodegradable wastes, etc. The key features of the machine include four advanced sewer cameras.
Bandicoot has two major structures. One is the robotic unit with an arm and four legs that enters the manhole and handles the cleaning operation. The other is a control panel unit that stays outside the manhole. An operator is re- quired to control or monitor Bandicoot. The operator can control the robotic unit by monitoring through a high-defini- tion display which will get input from IP68 waterproof cameras mounted on the drone unit. The stand unit also has a second display on the user interface area for various other interactions such as checking the quantity of poisonous gas inside the manhole and training as- sistance for better user experience and easy rehabilitation of sanitation workers.
The sensor-based feedback system assimilated in the robot allows the op- erator to know the position of the drone unit inside the manhole.
These sensors also help Bandicoot in measuring different environmental parameters like manhole dimensions, material and chemicals present in the
manhole, humidity, and temperature. Surgical cleaning processes with high efficiency can be done with the help of the machine. The drone unit basically dives into the manholes for the cleaning operations or unblocking operations. The diving depth of the robotic drone is customisable according to the maxi- mum depth needed. The robotic arm of the drone has four degrees of freedom and 360-degree movement capacity to perform grabbing, shovelling and un- blocking actions inside the manholes. The stability of the machine is ensured with four expandable legs. The collected waste is taken out with the help of an in- tegrated waste-collecting bucket system
with a capacity of 18 litres.
The robotic unit also has a fixed,
waterproof, night-vision camera. This camera transmits 4K resolution videos and images in real time, even if the man- hole is full of water.
The cleaning process can be done in two modes: automatic or semi-automat- ic. Automatic cleaning is applied to the standard manholes. Based on artificial intelligence (AI) programs, the robotic unit moves inside the manhole by itself and cleans on its own. For non-standard
Young engineers behind Bandicoot created by their startup, Genrobotics Left: Bandicoot at work
manholes, the semi-automatic control is brought into play. Nano coating in addition to the powder coating surface treatment process enables the robot to perform its operation in any hazardous or corrosive sewerage environment ef- fectively for a longer period.
The Bandicoot has the flexibility to perform more efficient cleaning than hu- mans. Manual scavengers will not lose their jobs as they are being rehabilitated to become robot operators and be em- ployed in the high technology sector. The robot takes 15 minutes to clean small sewers and around 45 minutes to unclog bigger ones.
Besides Kerala, Bandicoot is success- fully serving in different states of India including Haryana, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Telanga- na, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The innovation has been successfully deployed by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), Surat Mu- nicipal Corporation, Dhule Municipal Corporation, Muktsar Sahib Municipal Council in Punjab, Thanjavur Munici- pal Corporation, Coimbatore Munici- pal Corporation, among several others. More than 200 sanitation workers have been trained to be robot operators and thousands of sanitation workers have undergone their rehabilitation pro- gramme. In addition to that, the inno- vators of Bandicoot have signed an MoU with the Dubai municipality to robotise their sanitation sector.

   49   50   51   52   53