Student eco-warrior invents robots for a greener UAE
A young eco-warrior has invented robots to help the UAE become greener, including a cleaner but that preserves the marine environment and another that helps minimise human labour on farms.
Sainath Manikandan, a student at GEMS United Indian School, built the Marine Robot Cleaner (MBot Cleaner) and Agriculture Robot (Agribot), and he is hoping that authorities would implement his inventions on a bigger scale.
His mission with the robots is to help protect marine species and the farmers who work in hot countries like the UAE.
“MBot is a prototype robot that can remove floating wastes from surface water. It is basically shaped like a boat and can be operated remotely with radio control. It runs with two motors that help the boat move in the water. Popsicle sticks are attached to a wheel and then to the third motor to push the waste from the water bodies into the storage basket.
“Solar panels can also be used instead of batteries. Although this project could plausibly restore the purity of water, it nevertheless could be the initial step taken forward towards creating a better ecosystem,” he said.
“We live on a blue planet, with oceans and seas covering more than 70 per cent of the earth’s surface. Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. Oceans are facing threats as a result of human activity. Every year, an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the world’s oceans. By developing this robot on a bigger scale, we can try to preserve our marine species and environment.”
His AgriBot is a machine that is also powered by solar panels, instead of batteries. Manikandan is suggesting that drones be used along with this robot to assist and control the seed-planting process on farms.
“The purpose of AgriBot is to help the farmers in hot countries like the UAE. It is designed to minimise the labour of farmers, in addition to increasing the speed and accuracy of the work. It performs the elementary functions involved in farming, such as ploughing the field, sowing seeds, and covering the seeds with soil. The robot is autonomous and provides the facility for the optional switching of the ploughing system when required,” he said.
Fighting for the protection of the environment has been a passion for Manikandan for quite a while now, as he’s also involved in several eco-friendly programmes.
He’s a Drop It Youth ambassador, a Tunza Eco Generation ambassador, and an? the active member of the Emirates Environmental Group.
“I have launched my own campaign, PEPC campaign, through which I collect paper, ?electronic wastes, plastics and cans for recycling,” he said.
“Recycling helps the environment in many ways, as it preserves our resources, saves the landfill space, reduces greenhouse gases and saves water and energy.
“Last year, I had collected nearly 2,500kg of paper and 250kg of plastics. Recycling just one tonne of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 4,000 kilowatts of energy.”