AI-Integrated Marine Robotic Boat Showcased for Waste Collection Technology at Umiam Lake, Meghalaya

Smart Village Movement, August 26, 2023

Shillong,25th August – In a landmark step towards advancing waste management practices, an innovative demonstration took place at Kyndong Rella in the Mawdun Area of Umiam Lake, a familiar touristic site in Meghalaya. Spearheaded by the Government of Meghalaya under its Smart Village Movement initiative in collaboration with technology partner Clearbot, the event featured the deployment of an AI-Integrated marine robotic boat for floating waste collection, presenting an innovative use case to address environmental challenges.

A week-long demonstration culminated on the 25th of August 2023 at 3 pm with various stakeholders crucial to the Umiam lake, invited to witness the unveiling of this cutting-edge technology, showcasing its potential to revolutionise waste collection in other parts of the state and the region as well.

Mr.Ramkumar, a senior IAS Officer and Nodal Officer of Smart Village Village Movement expressed enthusiasm about the demonstration: “We were excited to see this pilot taking shape and  witness a milestone in waste management. This initiative aligns with our commitment to foster a cleaner and more sustainable environment through technology-driven solutions.”

Siddhant, Founder of Clearbot shared, “At Clearbot, we’re excited to join forces with the Smart Village Movement to revitalise local waterways in Meghalaya. This partnership exemplifies our commitment to innovative solutions for environmental rejuvenation. Through this pilot, we aim to demonstrate how technology-driven clean-up initiatives can contribute to holistic rural development, aligning with the Movement’s vision for a sustainable future.”

Tulenam, Fellow at UC Berkeley and Director of Operations for the SVM initiative in Meghalaya, highlighted that ‘’this technology was first tested in Bali, Indonesia for tourism use cases and we are using them in Meghalaya today to solve waste collection in a famous touristic site as well. Such models will create standard processes to handle waste in a timely manner making operations more efficient than conventional ones. These technologies must be leveraged to a great extent to address the growing menace of waste and help scale such models them to similar locations.’’

A local fisherman remarked that a lot of catchment areas of waste in water bodies are sites that can be difficult to reach and most of the time there is no regular way for authorities to manage it. On top of that- issues like rainfall, absence of waste collection accumulates in such areas.

The technology presents an economical method for effectively removing debris, oil, and, all while operating on electric power. With the capacity to gather as much as 15 litres of oil and 200 kilograms of floating refuse daily, these models need to be explored in our state, says Pynshai Marpna, Project Lead for this demonstration.

After the demonstration, it is said to collect a total of 250 kgs in less than three hours of swim time. This amalgamation of artificial intelligence and marine engineering exemplified the convergence of innovation and sustainability. By deploying an innovative solution like robotic boats, waste collection becomes easier and effectively addresses the concern of growing aquatic pollution. Multiple stakeholders like the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited, the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation, the tourism department, local municipal authority, the village headman, fishermen and local community members of the Mawdun village were present.

About Smart Village Movement: The Smart Village Movement is a collaborative process facilitated by the Smart Village Movement with the UC Berkeley-Haas Center of Growth Markets to create a Smart Village ecosystem. In partnership with Government, Academia, Corporations, and Rural Communities, they foster independence and sustainable rural development in Indian villages and other emerging markets. SVM aims to empower rural people through digital technologies and open innovation platforms to access global markets.

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