Swachh Bharat Abhiyan arrived with a view to bringing about a healthy change in our minds and thereby in our streets. It came out to make our roads, streets, avenues, and every household clean and pave way for proper sanitation and hygiene. While the whole country took the issue in their hands (literally) with brooms and mops, a team decided to automate the task and assign it to robots.
Drawing inspiration from the Mars Rover – the largest and the most successful IoT project till date – and the adorable WALL-E, a team from Bangalore brainstormed and came up with a robot to clean our roads and maintain cleanliness. Introducing Ramu droid – an IoT-based robot that is designed for the Indian roads. Read on to find out more about the intelligent assist.
The friendly neighbourhood robot is the brainchild of Altanai Bisht, the co-creator of Ramu droid, and the result of countless hours of undeterred efforts and perseverance towards an ambition. Altanai is a VoIP engineer, who specializes in web ITC and media stream handling and telecom. She is also an author and a blogger of latest trends in technologies. It was the 2nd of October of 2014, when the idea of a revolutionary ingenious device was born. Apart from the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign, the day also witnessed the onset of the idea of automating the entire process of cleaning our roads and streets.
When she decided to connect her skills with an issue of national interest, she immediately received tons of response and support from people in her circle to venture into it. After designing several prototypes and working models, she finally came up with Ramu droid.
Check out the quick video about Ramu droid here.
There’s a very interesting story behind the naming of the IoT-based robot. We won’t reveal the details about it because you’ve to listen to what Altanai says about it. Check out the logic behind naming the device here.
However, what we will reveal is what it is and what it does. In simple words, Ramu droid is an intelligent device that is connected to the cloud and other devices. Altanai shares that instead of making Ramu droid as a standalone, it made more sense to make it an IoT-based device and keep it connected to the cloud always. For that, the device has been equipped with multiple communication channels like Wi-Fi, GSM modules and BLE. With all these channels, the device constantly senses and transmits data to the cloud. Not just data but the device is also designed to transmit media streams, sensory data such as location and more.
One of the primary reasons why the team decided to connect it to the internet and other devices is because it would give them the option to add a layer of intelligence to it. Being a robot, the device has to be intelligent in making multiple autonomous decisions that will complement its purpose and missions. Some of the decisions it has to take would be on rerouting its direction depending on traffic, weather change, detecting hostile conditions and making better-informed decisions on whatever comes on its way.
Ramu droid is a very efficient device. It doesn’t rely on vacuums or water-based mechanisms to clean the streets and roads. Instead, it uses a simplified mechanism of brushes and bins. There are three brushes attached to the devices, each rotating in clockwise and anticlockwise respectively. This motion of brushes brooms the terrain picks up garbage and propels it to the bin attached on top of it. That way, it collects the trash on roads and streets and cleans them.
We feel that a video on its working would be more interesting. Here it is.
As mentioned, there are tons of circumstances where the droid has to make intelligent and informed decisions and connecting it to the cloud and internet is the only practical solution that will add efficiency to its functionality. One of the primary instances where the droid needs to act intelligently is when the bin gets filled by the garbage collected and the droid has to realize this and dump it down and get started from where it left last. Also, the device has to detect bad roads, potholes, and treacherous terrains and navigate accordingly to avoid damage to its systems. So, keeping the device connected to a backend cloud is the best way to make it intelligent.
As far as the IoT scene in India is concerned, Ramu droid is one of the biggest revolutions. The onset of the IoT-based cleaning droid proves that India is open to experimentation and needs innovative gadgets like Ramu droid for bettering our life and lifestyle. Though Altani shares that there were tons of challenges she faced in developing the device – from funding to the availability of equipment – the end result was worth every effort.
Besides, Altanai also shares how analytics comes into play in the entire scene and how it helps the system take better informed decisions and make it optimized. Check out the quick video here.
If you’re an IoT aspirant, Altanai shares that you should be multidisciplinary. Your skills on software development or robotics or electronics and communication can’t get you far in the industry but specialized expertise will. Besides this, she also shares some useful tips on what makes for a good IoT developer on this useful video.