Despite stringent provisions in the law, manual scavenging continues unabated in India. Manual scavenging refers to the unsafe and manual removal of raw (fresh and untreated) human excreta from public streets and dry latrines, cleaning septic tanks, gutters, and sewers. Due to the hazardous nature of the job, many of the scavengers have related health problems.
A solar-powered battery-operated machine named Xena 6.0 can be a great solution to these issues. This robotic sewage hole cleaning machine is manufactured by India’s Rajasthan-based Club First Robotics Private Limited and is a part of the Make in India initiative.
The Xena 6.0 is all-terrain robot chassis that can be used in agriculture, rescue events and is specially designed for sewage manhole cleaning. The robot lifts the solid waste from a manhole and collects it in a chamber. It is an electric vehicle that uses solar energy and can be electrically charged.
The new scavenging robot is equipped to work for seven days in a single charge, collect a maximum of sludge at one go, and dive up to 10 meters of maximum depth. This robot has a maximum lift capacity of up to 500 kg.
The operation of the 75 kg Xena 6.0 is very simple. When the robot is put on the manhole that needs to be cleaned, an attachment is lowered into the sludge, where it collects and recycles the waste internally. It then retains the undissolved materials such as plastic bottles and stones, while the rest remains in the sewage system. The filtered particles are collected in a storage tray and then transported to a garbage dump. Xena 6.0 needs just one person to operate, compared to the four-person necessary for the other machines.
The Xena 6.0 is integrated with different sensors to observe the environmental conditions. It has 12 types of gas detection sensors that detect the presence of different gas concentrations and alert people to stay away if it is dangerous. It has cameras to monitor the cleaning work live and also can be used during the night with ultra HD color images. The robot is enabled with GPS and GSM and can be tracked remotely.
The manhole cleaning robot’s other features include noise-less operation, bipolar suspension, ATV wheels, antirust body, and RMS Remote Monitoring system.
Currently, a singular robot has been functioning in Vadodara with no challenges. It was implemented in Surat a few days prior to Vadodara. This innovative machine holds great promise for cities across India.