Srinagar, Jan 5: A team of visionary engineering students have created a solar-powered robot skimmer to combat plastic pollution in water bodies, especially the iconic Dal Lake.
The team conducted successful trials in Dal Lake, demonstrating the robot's effectiveness in detecting and collecting non-biodegradable plastic waste.
Guided by Jahangir Ahmad, who is also the founder of Kashovatics Institute, the device was made by five engineering students, Bilquis Bashir, Safia Farooq, Aiman, Shefa Nisar, Renesa Shafi.
Unlike conventional methods which rely on manpower, this innovative robot has sensors, motors, bluetooth connectivity, and is controlled through a smartphone.
Its uniqueness lies in scalability, allowing it to be adapted for use in larger water bodies. With the addition of solar panels, the device becomes self-sustainable, and long-distance control can be established using Wi-Fi communication. Onboard sensors monitor water conditions, offering a comprehensive approach to water quality management.
Jahangir Ahmad told Greater Kashmir that in order to address the issue of plastic waste in water bodies, they have decided to patent a Robot plastic skimmer.
He said this robot detects the floating non-bio degradable waste that is plastic on the water bodies that traps the waste and collects that into the trash bin and then returns to the base station when it gets full and unloads the waste there.
He said that they have done trials of this robot in Dal Lake and it worked very well. "Most of the devices require oil, fuel but there is a risk of leakage in the water and polluting it. Our robot plastic skimmer is solar powered. We can control it on the phone. Once the waste collection is done, it gives a message and after waste collection it gets back to the location," he said.
Ahmad said that in order to address the issue of plastic waste in water bodies, they have decided to patent a Robot plastic skimmer.
"Plastic is a threat to nature and human health. So we have designed this device which cleans the water bodies. We can use this device in Dal Lake to get rid of the floating plastic," he said.
He said that whenever there is an error or fault in the device during the process of cleaning, it notifies the controller through a message.
"This robot is a cost-effective remote controlled robot with advanced control features. It can assist the humans in removing the floating water waste safely and quickly making work easier and more sustainable," Ahmad said.
Students said that plastic toxins can lead to cancers, birth defects and immune system problems.
"This device was designed to make the system very economical and helpful to remove water impurities like plastics, trash, water debris which is floating on river and pond surface," they said.
The device reduces the time and labour work as it can work continuously and tirelessly for 24 hours.
A user can also monitor the movement of the device during the working process and can track its location on the water as well.
The use of batteries enhances the safety of the design, and the incorporation of renewable solar energy opens up new possibilities for environmentally friendly water cleaning solutions.