Robots to the rescue: This disinfectant system can help contain the spread of coronavirus
Coronavirus Pandemic

Robots to the rescue: This disinfectant system can help contain the spread of coronavirus

The system, developed by Avishkaar, can be mounted on a bicycle or rickshaw to sanitise even narrow lanes.

By Chahak Gupta

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Avishkaar, “an initiative to engage young minds in robotics”, has come up with a technological solution to help contain the rapid spread of coronavirus. Called the High Density Covid Disinfectant System, it employs remotely controlled robots to spray disinfectants indoors as well as outdoors. To sanitise streets, the system can be mounted on a truck or tractors, or, in case of narrow lanes, a bicycle and rickshaw.

The system is equipped with GPS tracking to keep a record of the sanitisation work.

The system was created by a group of “innovators and enthusiasts” brought together by Tarun Bhalla, founder of Avishkaar. Since the system is easy to replicate, Bhalla said, “anybody with some skill can build it”. “This is a scalable solution and can be ramped up quickly,” he added.

Bhalla’s team has also created a face shield using a 3D printer that can be worn by those using the system as also health workers who are in contact with coronavirus patients. Such face shields are part of the personal protective equipment required by healthcare workers in India and abroad.

They have built all these tools from locally sourced materials, Bhalla said.

They have successfully tested the HCDS system, Bhalla said, and are ready to roll it out. They need permission from the Delhi Municipal Corporation, however, which they have applied for. For now, at the request of BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, they have received permission to sanitise her New Delhi parliamentary constituency.

They have already acquired chemical disinfectants from the MCD, as also curfew passes to go out during the lockdown.

Asked about the funding for the project, Bhalla said he and his associates are spending their own money. “It takes us around Rs 10,000 to get one vehicle ready,” he added. “Within an hour, this kit can spray out around 5,000 litres of the disinfectant.”

They haven’t “pitched” their system to either the Centre or the Delhi government yet, Bhalla said, “but we hope they notice us”.

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