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High-tech robotic machines will clean the manholes in Vizag


In a bid to stop the practice of cleaning the manholes with human hands in Vizag, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is in the process of procuring two ‘Bandicoot’ branded robotic manhole cleaning machines with about Rs 80 lakh, which would help end the practice of manual scavenging.

To get the job done, the robot goes inside the manhole and mimics all the actions of a human scavenger. Bandicoot has two 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 with the person controlling or monitoring Bandicoot. The robotic unit has a fixed, waterproof, night-vision camera that transmits 4K resolution videos and images in real-time, even in the presence of water.


Speaking to Hello Vizag, GVMC superintending engineer (water supply & underground drainage management) K Venu Gopal said that “the robotic machines would do away the manual scavenging. With this, “It can be remotely controlled using a simple user interface and the high-resolution camera in the control panel works even during night time. It can clean manholes up to 10 meters in depth. The most important thing about the sensors which attached to this spider-like robot would even detect noxious gases such as methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide and others trapped in the manholes, and alert the staff beforehand.”

Stating further Mr Venu Gupal said, in the recent past, GVMC introduced three vehicle-mounted jetting machines to mechanize the sewer and septic tank cleaning operations with about Rs 1.25 crore. This kind of machine will help the GVMC in keeping the underground drainage network free of clogging, silt or blockages and can be deployed in the narrow lanes of the city. And the high pressure exerts from these jetting machines can clear a choking point, to a maximum extent, located four manholes away in the same UGD line,” said Venu Gopal.

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