Students of IIT-Madras came up with a performable sanitation solution, ranged between 10 lakh to 30 lakh. The Sepoy Septic Tank Robot uses high-velocity cutters to cut through the thick sludge in septic tanks and clear drains, once the sludge is cut through, it is sucked out using a vacuum pump, according to a Financial Express report. As a matter of fact, manual scavenging was earlier abolished in 1993, and the ban was later reinforced in 2013. Still it continued to maintain its impact.
Also, according to a 2018 report by the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK), one person loses their life every five days while cleaning sewers and septic tanks across the country. These mechanized systems are yet to implemented globally, while the states look to deploy them.The Delhi government currently inducted 200 mechanised systems to clean sewage but each one came at an expensive range of Rs 40 lakh.
The robot developed by the IIT-Madaras students is yet in the testing phase, and the team is still trying to procure sludge from oil and gas companies as it would be thick and viscous, similar to sludge in septic tanks and drains. The team is further being helped and supported by Professor Indumathi Nambi, of the Environmental Engineering group at IIT-Madras.
Deepti Sukumar, National Co-convener of the Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA),claimed,“This is excellent work. Under the Swachh Bharat scheme, many toilets are being built in remote areas that have narrow streets. Pumps cannot enter to clean these septic tanks. This invention will be very useful for these cases.”
As reported the machine is supposed to have lab trials in April and May, later on filling the robots that will undergo site trials in July and August. Thiruvananthapuram-based Genrobotics, is also known to address the same problem with Bandicoot that is a spider-shaped robot which helps
to clean sewers and drains. The 50-kg, pneumatic-powered, remote-controlled robot can be forwarded down to a manhole where it spreads its limbs and removes sewage. The robotic arm functions in a 360-degree motion to sweep the manhole floor and collect the filth.