CHENNAI:A team of B Tech students from VIT, Chennai, have developed an autonomous vehicle ‘Waterbot’ that promises to be an ideal solution to clean water bodies and seashores.The catamaran-style bot is capable of sucking out 25 kg of plastic and other solid waste in one cycle. It comes with a suction pump technology and using a beagle-bone camera, the vehicle is capable of differentiating between what is waste and what is good for the ecosystem.
Five students — Faizi Saif, Vishal Garg, Sudarshan Thorve, Abhinav and Manish Bhardwaj — have currently designed the prototype and successfully exhibited it during the recently concluded ‘Zero Carbon Challenge-2018’. They came as one of the finalists in the contest that saw participation from the entire South India.
Faizi Saif told Express that the bot is very stable due to its catamaran-style design. The final product, which would measure 2m x 2.5m, comes with solar panels on the top and will have enough power to run 24x7. It will also have GPS module. “We have developed an exclusive app to know the exact location of the bot. If the vehicle encounters any problem, there is a manual override option using which we can take control of the vehicle and guide to the shore,” he said.
The team said the major advantage of the bot is its manoeuvrability. “Catamaran and a flat-bottom hull design invest it with an impeccable manoeuvrability and stability. Its body is made up of carbon fibre, which is known for its unparalleled stiffness, strength and light weight. For our circuits and wiring, we have made use of aluminium, well-known for its versatile nature. On the electrical front, it is equipped with a variety of sensors, which enhance its functionality manifold. On top of that, the whole assembly is GPS-monitored. The product is better and technologically agile and comparatively superior in many ways compared to other existing prototypes and distributed products. Also, it guarantees far lesser energy consumption,” Vishal Garg, another member, claimed.
They said the design patent application had been submitted. The team looks to incubate with IIT-Madras research cell and in a couple of years down the lane, will set up a manufacturing unit in Chennai, which could deliver sufficient Waterbot units to clean up city beaches, they said.