The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows Homosep Atom to inspect, clean, and manage confined spaces for sanitation purposes
With a considerable upturn to the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign, India has introduced its first septic tank cleaning robot, marking a revolutionary step towards eliminating manual scavenging and promoting sanitation and hygiene across the nation.
Developed by Solinas, a startup incubated at the Department of Science and Technology (DST)-Technology Business Incubator (TBI) of IIT Madras, the Homosep Atom is at the forefront of transforming manual cleaning methods into robotic solutions.
This innovation has already made its way to 16 cities, showcasing its ability to perform extensive blade cleanings, solid waste desilting, suction, and storage with a single device. The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows Homosep Atom to inspect, clean, and manage confined spaces for sanitation purposes, offering a significant advancement over traditional methods. This approach not only reduces the risk to human life but also enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of sanitation efforts.
The DST-TBIs, part of the NIDHI programme, aim to nurture knowledge-driven innovative startups into successful enterprises. Solinas, emerging from this ecosystem, specializes in developing miniature robots capable of navigating through pipelines to address water and sewer pipeline contamination challenges. Their products, including India's first 90mm water robot and 120mm sewer robot, represent a leap forward in the sanitation sector.
The Homosep Atom's deployment in cities like Madurai and Chennai has led to the efficient cleaning of manhole blockages and a reduction in sewer overflows, directly benefiting municipal operations and the health of densely populated areas. The technology empowers sanitary workers by allowing them to operate the cleaning robots from outside the hazardous environments of manholes, providing them with dignity and safety in their work.
Beyond Cleaning: A Vision for Sustainable and Scalable Solutions
Solinas’s journey doesn’t stop at cleaning. The startup has tackled broader climatic challenges such as water wastages, groundwater pollution, and climate change. Their technologies, including Endobot and Swasth AI, serve as pipeline diagnostic tools capable of detecting and mitigating water contamination and wastages, often unnoticed due to underground issues.
These AI-based services have not only helped save costs and reduce resolution time but have also improved the drinking water supply to cities like Hubbali, benefiting over 1000 households. In partnership with entities like the Sewerage and Infrastructural Development Corporation of Goa (SIDGCL) and Chennai Metro, Solinas has identified key challenges such as cross-contamination and illegal tappings, improving pipeline integrity and water access.
Professor Abhay Karandikar, Secretary DST, highlighted the government's role in supporting such innovations, stating, “DST’s support for startups is a major source of encouragement for youngsters inspired by the Government start-up movement to develop their knowledge-based enterprises and solve societal challenges.”
The Future of Sanitation and Hygiene in India

The integration of robotics and AI into India's sanitation efforts, particularly through initiatives like the Swachh Bharat campaign, signifies a paradigm shift in how the country approaches public health and hygiene. By leveraging technology to tackle the challenges of manual scavenging and urban sanitation, India is setting a precedent for other nations to follow.
As robotics and generative AI continue to evolve, their potential to revolutionize electronic cleaning equipment and broader sanitation practices in India is immense. The journey of startups like Solinas exemplifies the power of innovation in addressing critical societal issues, heralding a future where clean, safe, and dignified sanitation practices are not just aspirational but a reality. The Swachh Bharat mission, supported by technological advancements like the Homosep Atom, is on track to achieving its goal of a cleaner, healthier India.