Robotics for waste water management

Agriculture sector contributes to around 16% GPD of India and is the biggest consumer of water. The careless use of water will not only affect us personally but also will affect the economy. The statistics of urban India water wastage shows that approximately half of the water is lost in distribution and about 70% to 80% of untreated wastewater enters the lakes and rivers.

Technology is the booming sector in India. Wouldn’t it be great if we can use technology to control the wastewater crisis and wastewater management? FluidRobotics a startup which is leveraging the technology of robotics in better management of water.

There is an interesting story behind the motivation to establish the startup. It was when Mr Asim Bhalerao read the notice in his building which stated that there wouldn’t be water supply between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on that day. It was surprising for him since he was an NRI. He didn’t mind it the first time, but on his next visit to India, he saw the same notice. This time he was anxious, so he made a call to the chief engineer of Municipal Corporation. He realized the issues faced by the team of the corporation and shared the same with his wife, who was in the US. The problem seemed grave, and that’s when the couple decided to fly back to India and FluidRobotics was born.

The startup uses drones to map the buildings, slumps, pipelines, bridges, and all other entities in the project area. 3D elevation models are also prepared. The maps and models are studied to locate stormwater outfalls which carry untreated wastewater into the lake and river.

Image Courtesy: FluidRobotics

The flagship product of the firm is a robotic system to map and inspect the underground pipelines. The platform digitizes the data collected on pipes to understand the effect of structural defects or deposits on pipeline age and capacity. The platform also helps in identifying structural weaknesses, Operations and maintenance failure modes, construction properties in water and wastewater pipelines. The data which is gathered is analyzed, and this prevents water leakages and flooding during monsoon.

The flow inside stormwater drains, water pipelines and sewers is measured via magnetic, ultrasonic and pressure sensors. The data collected by the startup is directly used by the Government Organizations and Infrastructure Consultants. They use this data for designing sewer pipelines and sewage treatment plants.

Another noteworthy thing about the startup is that it has prevented 5600+ hours of manual scavenging. This time was spent by the robots developed the FluidRobotics in identifying the blockages which the manual scavengers used to do. This also helped manual scavengers as it prevented them from getting in contact with sewage and toxic gases.

Image Courtesy: FluidRobotics

The startup has used both hardware and software development. We wish to see how this development leads to the development of wastewater management.

Also Read: Is 3D is too mainstream


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