Drain-Cleaning Robot Will Save Indian Sewage Workers’ Lives
Cleaning sewer lines and manholes is a much more dangerous job in India than most other countries in the world.
That’s because we don’t have any efficient ways to do this but instead rely on human workers manually cleaning out waste in dangerous situations.
It’s estimated that around 8,00,000 people from lower-income groups are employed as sewage cleaners, and approximately 23,000 of them die every year. These laborers are sent into sewage lines with no safety gear, causing them to eventually perish due to asphyxiation, or complications from the poisonous gases present.
IIT Madras Professor Dr. Prabhu Rajagopal and his students from the Centre for Non-Destructive Evaluation have invented a 50-kg, pressure-powered, remote-controlled robot as a safer alternative to clean the sewers.
This robot, dubbed the Sepoy septic tank cleaner, is armed with 360-degree rotation technology that sweeps away all the filth that collects in the sewers.
Powered with high-velocity cutters, it is capable of cleaning even thick layers of waste. It also has a camera installed in it, which means that the operator can safely sit outside and still be able to see all the shit going down in the sewers.
The robot is currently undergoing heavy-duty field-trials and mock drills and is expected to enter the market sometime within the next two years.
If the robot is indeed successful, perhaps it’ll even be adopted for use by state governments.