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Robot joins Clean India mission

An institution in K.K. Nagar helps school students across the city create Swachh Bot, which picks up garbage on the beach. Vipasha Sinha meets the young inventors

Soon, people can spot a special cleanliness enthusiast at the Elliots Beach during the weekends. He is swift, robust and looks suave. Moreover, wherever he goes he gathers garbage. He is Swachh Bot, a robot designed by 40 school students from across the city for cleaning the beach.

These kids are students of Kidobotikz, an institution where school students are taught to build robots. Situated in K.K. Nagar, Kidobotikz was started by Sneha Priya and Pranavan S., who conduct regular classes during the weekends. These classes allow school kids to play with equipment and gain some practical experience.

For a month, the students worked on Swachh Bot. After several trial runs, the robotic garbage cleaner was ready for the mission.

“The students here had already created robots to perform day-to-day chores, including cleaning their own houses. So with Prime Minister’s Clean India Campaign gaining popularity, we decided to create a robot that cleans public spaces,” says Sneha Priya, an engineering student from Anna University.

The students were helped by engineers at every stage. “It is not easy for a vehicle to run on sand. Even humans find it difficult to do it. We worked on various versions before coming up with the prefect one. Right now, this machine drags the garbage on the sand, which has to be collected and thrown in a dustbin by the volunteers. We plan to do this every weekend,” says Sneha.

During their college days, twenty four-year-old Sneha and Pranavan S. were teaching as well. “We had once gone to an international college. We were at college, but found ourselves competing with school students of other countries — that was embarrassing,” she says.

It was an eye opener — they decided to train kids at a young age, so that by the time they reach college, they know what they are doing. “School children have a lot of time to learn new things. Once they reach college, they have so many other things to worry about. For class XI students and above, we have a one and a half year course, after which they are given certificates. We also have fun-based learning sessions for younger kids. These classes are conducted at our centre on weekends.”

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