Robot to help students clean up environment

A group of students in Tamil Nadu designed and developed an outdoor mobile robotic trash can to help schoolchildren undertaking clean-up activities.

The robot was invented by a team of students of the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM) in Kancheepuram.

The robot can be controlled by children with a video game controller or a smart phone, and can autonomously follow a student navigator. The IIITDM is a centre funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Prof R Gnanamoorthy, director of IIITDM told DH on Monday that the device interacts with children and is fitted with a HD webcam, microphone and speakers.It also carries air-quality monitoring sensors.

In addition to promoting the government’s Swachh Bharat mission to clean up the environment, the robot informs the public about air pollution levels. Additional pollution sensors will be added in future.

The robot was demonstrated during Independence Day celebrations, and was also demonstrated to the public at the nearby Vandalur Zoo, the country’s largest zoological garden. The air quality data monitored by the robot can be used to raise environmental literacy among the public and children.

The robot design information will be made public so that such robots can be developed and improved upon by interested faculty and students in colleges. Gnanamoorthy said the results of this project are to be presented at an international conference in the US in October.

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