Robots, IoT to help garbage collectors

By : |August 7, 2015 0
Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at

How often do we cover our face to avoid looking at the mountain of trash and the related stink that emanates from local garbage pick-up bins or the massive collection pits?

Little do we realize that the community of garbage collectors, which if often scoffed at, also wants to live with dignity. But enabling them is a Bengaluru-based social enterprise, Saahas.

Enabling the social enterprise in this endeavour is Indian Angel Network (IAN) that has announced an investment in Saahas.

Nagaraj Prakasam, the investor provides the tech overview. He informs that the social enterprise will develop applications for garbage collection as a first step. Algorithms will be developed to connect users with local labourers, so that garbage can is cleared faster, instead of letting it pile up.

As Saahas increases its TPD capacity, it would combine lazer technology and robots to sniff the stink at garbage dump yards or pits.

With the use of sensors, robots will segregate the hazardous waste and this will prevent direct contact of the worker, Prakasam shares.

While the social enterprise is planning to enrol the help of IoT and robotics as it grows, for now, it is educating residents of local housing societies and IT parks to Own their own Waste.

According to Wilma Rodrigues, Founder, Saahas, “We want to expand from current 20 tonnes per day (TPD) to 60 TPD next year and 80 TPD in three years. As of today, we have employed 100 waste collectors, and are well placed to implement complete waste management solutions that have the potential to contribute towards Swachh Bharat. ”

She says, “To achieve our objective of being a part of the national movement of creating clean India, we will also use simple technology that will enhance efficiency in our waste management processes and provide dignity of labor to the workers who work in hazardous conditions every day.”

She concludes that IAN’s investment will be used to scale up the project by hiring senior members in the team.

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