Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has added one more Bandicoot robot to clean and maintain city manholes. Nearly one year before, GVMC introduced their first Bandicoot robot for the elimination of manual entry during the maintenance of city manholes and to bring more safety & efficiency to the workers. The new Bandicoot robot was launched with the support of ONGC Foundation CSR, aiming to improve the safety of sanitation workers and to expand the robotic manhole cleaning service of GVMC.
The inaugural ceremony was conducted by Hon’ble Mayor Shri. G Hari Venkata Kumari and key handover were done by Shri. Daitari Malik GM (HR) ONGC Kakinada. The Hon’ble Zonal Commissioner GVMC Shri. K Chakravarthy switched on the Bandicoot Robot on 7th July 2022 at the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation office in the presence of Chief Engineer GVMC Shri. Ravi Krishnan Raju and Superintendent Engineer GVMC Shri. KVN Ravi.
Cleaning of manholes effectively requires humans to enter it, but manholes are death pits for the workers due to harmful gases and various other dangerous factors. To solve this challenge Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation deployed the first Bandicoot robot on Feb 8 2021. Through training and rehabilitation programs the sanitation workers are transformed into safer and more dignified jobs as Robot operators. Bandicoot Robotic Scavengers are already functioning in 5 cities of Andhra Pradesh including Visakhapatnam, Tadipatri, Nellore, Kakinada and Vijayawada.
In recent years Andhra Pradesh reported 13 manual scavenging deaths due to the inhalation of poisonous manhole gases. There are more cities in Andhra Pradesh which could use this technology like Guntur, Ongole, Tirupathi etc. This initiative will ensure the safety of sanitation workers who are engaged in such hazardous environments. There are other cleaning methods such as sucking machines and grabbing machines, but the sucking machines are incapable of taking out solid wastes and the grabbing machine can only clean less than 20% of the area inside the manhole. This forces the authorities to use manpower in this scenario, Bandicoot comes with human-like robotic arms and a wider opening bucket system, it provides 100% cleaning efficiency than other methods in removing blockages inside manholes.
The Bandicoot robotic technology is developed for ending manual scavenging by Genrobotics, a National Award Winning Startup. The project was implemented with a vision to help improve the safety and dignity of sanitation workers and bring positive changes to the sanitation workers community. The Bandicoot robots are now working in over 15 states including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Orissa and recently in Goa, Margao Municipality has also switched to Bandicoot robotic technology.
Bandicoot robotic technology is designed to mimic and replace the entire human requirement inside the manhole for efficient cleaning. Bandicoot robotic technology is an AMRUT Tech Challenge Award winner as the Promising Innovative Solution for sanitation by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India. This Bandicoot Robotic Technology has been exported to other countries to improve safety in confined spaces such as sewer manholes, Refinery pits etc,
The user interface of the Bandicoot Robot is designed for manual scavengers which is interactive and user-friendly, so that help in rehabilitating the existing manual scavengers to be the robot operators.
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