Pulkit Gaur, 29
Underwater robot to clean tanks and reduce water wastage
Coming from the water scare region of Rajasthan, Pulkit Gaur understood the value of creating a mechanism which could clean water storage tanks without emptying them or wasting water. Passionate about robots, Gaur has developed a smart waterproof robot capable of carrying various underwater operations with ease. He calls his invention SaUsR (smart autonomous underwater service robot).
The underwater robot from Gridbots is specially capable of cleaning deep water tanks and has found application in industries which have the need of a continuous supply of water but for whom cleaning the tank on a regular basis and keeping the water free of impurities is a major issue of water wastage and labor. Gaur's Sausr ensures smooth and fail-proof operations for such machines.
The Sausr uses visual sensors with high resolution cameras mounted on its back, which are also capable of giving a feedback of live video for better control. Light emitting diodes are used for lighting. The robot has sensors for direction, temperature, and acidity measurement. It is made of anodized aluminum and coated by hard chromium and is therefore rendered waterproof.
The robot is controlled from an external source such as a keypad and a monitor. It weighs 30 kilograms and comes in two models: a 2 feet wide, 2 feet long model for domestic purposes (since tank openings are small), and a 3 feet wide and 2 feet long model for industrial purposes. "We tried making indigenous smart cleaning robots which would be light, small, and cost-effective than what was available anywhere else so that it would fit in well in the multitudes of the Indian scene," says Gaur.
The machine has onboard sludge collection units which are modular in nature to help in cleaning sludge deposited within tanks of various sizes. It has an attached cable of 50 meters and hence is rated for a 50 meter depth with a linear speed of five centimeters per second and an underwater payload capacity of 30 kilograms.
Gaur has made the robot unique by adding peripherals like a totally waterproof robotic arm with a gripper attachment facility so that cleaning equipment can be attached to the robot. The robot size and attachments vary according to the nature of the sludge in different geographies. For example, Maharashtra has a sticky sludge while Rajasthan has a sludge deposition which is sandy in nature. The Sausr uses different kinds of pumps in different geographies.
To develop the Sausr has been tough. Gaur and his team had the challenge of not only creating an indigenous waterproof and rustproof device, but also of adding a camera feed and making everything work on a single phase power supply. Currently, the Sausr costs `7.5 & `12.5 lakh. The Gridbots is incubated at the Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.