Two hundred and seventy students of IIT Madras came together under the institute's Centre for Innovation (CFI), formed teams, and created 45 robots that cleaned a 750-sqft area with the help of rotating scrubbing pads. Monitored by representatives from Asia Book of Records and India Book of Records, this feat has set an Asian record for deploying the largest number of robots to clean a space.
These robots, with high revolutions per minute (RPM) motors at their core, consisted of a couple of scrubbing pads directing the dust towards the central suction mechanism. A filter then collected the dust in a vacuum tunnel. The robots were controlled by Bluetooth through a mobile-based application the students had developed. A proximity ultrasound fixed to the robots ensured there were no collisions, and the robots simultaneously went about their task for five minutes.
Gaurav Lodha, Executive Student Head, CFI, told NDTV,
"This will also impart technical training to students by teaching them the basics of electronics, robotics, automation, wireless communication, 3D printing, rapid prototyping, and software modelling along with soft skills like teamwork, time management, problem-solving, communication, and leadership."
With an objective to contribute to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, this innovation is further fuelling hopes that automated robots could take over manual scavenging and cleaning of sewer waste, eliminating human effort and burden.
Asian Book of Records presented a provisional certificate after the event. The final approval and certification will come in after due assessment of the evidence.
Professor B Ravindran, faculty-in-charge at CFI, told Deccan Herald,
Another major aim of this attempt is to sustain, spread, and strengthen the concept of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by some of the most skilled students in the country's premier engineering institute.