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Bandicoot

Manhole accidents are increasing at a disastrous rate. Lack of oxygen and presence of hazardous gases makes it difficult for a human to enter a manhole.

Why does it occur..?

Lack of training, workers were not trained to recognize confined space hazards and to take appropriate protective measures.
Protective and emergency equipment was not provided at the worksite.
The atmosphere in the manhole was not assessed to determine if conditions were acceptable before or during entry.
Proper ventilation was not used to control atmospheric hazards in the manhole.
An attendant was not stationed outside the manhole to monitor the situation and call for emergency services.

What happens..?

Asphyxia occurred when the foreman did not get enough oxygen to sustain life. It may be due to the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere was too low (i.e., oxygen deficiency) or a hazardous chemical concentration was too high (e.g., high carbon dioxide level). If oxygen deficiency or high carbon dioxide level occurs, then it effects the respiration and force to unconscious instantly.

Although the exact atmospheric conditions in the manhole at the time of the incident are unknown, measurements taken after the incident may indicate it was possible the oxygen levels were low enough or carbon dioxide levels were high enough to cause asphyxiation.

Changes in atmospheric conditions over time might be due to several causes, for example, organic matter like dead plants, animals or animal waste products decay in soil that uses up oxygen and produces hazardous gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide. Although conditions within these spaces could seem acceptable during initial entry, atmospheric changes could occur over time and result in fatalities.

What we’re going to do..?

The main reason behind all these accidents are due to the unknown knowledge of the scenario inside the manhole. From this point starts to immense the new technologies from the mechatronics and robotics. Here we introducing the new human controlled robot ‘Bandicoot’ for this challenge. The Bandicoot have several roles have to play...

As monitor
It takes the pictorial representation from each point of the manhole while moving deeper to deeper and transfers to the system which controls this robot.
As inspector
Starts to check the environmental condition such as gaseous information, blocks nearby, density of the block, etc… around the Bandicoot and send it backs to the system for further actions from the system.
As Cleaner
After detecting the blocks and its density, begins to remove it after getting the confirmation from the controlling system.

This technology helps to reduce the manhole accidents to a certain limit. This Bandicoot will be a good helper and supporter to the manhole workers and sewage cleaning department. This project is under research and development with Department of Electronics and Information Technology of Kerala (India).