IIT Madras startup develops smart devices to prevent COVID-19 spread via trash

The product ‘AirBin’ is aimed at remotely monitoring waste levels and generates alerts for expeditious disposal through a smartphone application and can be retrofitted into existing bins as well

April 27, 2020 / 03:40 PM IST

An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras incubated startup --Antariksh Waste Ventures -- has developed an Internet of Things (IoT) enabled ‘smart bin’ to prevent spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, through trash disposal containers.

The product ‘AirBin’ is aimed at remotely monitoring waste levels and generates alerts for expeditious disposal through smartphone applications and can be retrofitted into existing bins as well. The company said in a statement that AirBin would be useful at contagion vulnerable points (CVPs) like hospitals, clinics, public bins and quarantine zones.

The objective is to help rural and urban local bodies clear every bin before it overflows and to accelerate sustainability. The company said the product is on track to hit the market in around five months. The cost details have not yet been shared.

AirBin

Close

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

Antariksh aims to supply first 200 AirBin devices across India in next few months, with long-term plans to deliver 100,000 units to 100 smart cities in India.

Also Read: Live updates on COVID-19 pandemic in India

Mahek Mahendra Shah, Founder of Antariksh Waste Ventures said, “From waste collection, transport, segregation, disposal to recycling, every process needs to be overhauled quickly and technology will play a vital role in this transformation. Timely cleaning of bins will be a key priority while faced with shortage of labour.”

This digital waste management system can generate alerts to sanitation teams at regular intervals on fill levels and on-demand clearance requests from end-users for faster disposal of contagious waste. Antariksh Waste Ventures is supported by the IIT Madras Incubation Cell.

In the case of COVID-19, hazardous waste is being generated in hospitals, quarantine zones or red zone areas within cities. This waste is categorised as bio-medical waste since it is a potential source of COVID-19. These include including gloves, masks, food containers, clothes, tissues, cotton balls, among others.

AirBin Smart Bin Systems aims to remotely monitor waste levels in bins, plan and improve waste management, get automated cumulative reports of waste clearances and estimated waste generated by categories of wastes, locations, priority, among others. It will also help update concerned sanitation teams with status of bin levels periodically.

Only 28 percent of the waste generated in India is recycled and various studies found that the waste generated in the country was doubling every five years.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 27, 2020 03:40 pm

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections