Meet Husky – the Scottish designed robot helping Indian villagers collect water

Villagers in Ayyampathy, southern India load containers of water onto the four-wheeled machine (Image: University of Glasgow /

The remote-controlled device can carry three 20-litre bottles at once and is helping make locals’ lives easier.

A water-carrying robot developed with the help of Scots computer scientists has been making life easier for residents in a remote Indian village.

Until “Husky” arrived, the villagers had to trek back and forward from a well to get supplies.

The remote-controlled robot, which can carry three 20-litre bottles at a time, communicates using a synthetic male voice.

Husky was sent to Ayyampathy, southern India, as part of a trial to see how much it would benefit the lives of residents and to test how they would react to robots.

Before Husky, villagers had to trek to and from wells to collect water (Image: University of Glasgow /

After volunteers decanted the water into storage containers at home, the robot thanked them and reminded them to wash their hands before their next meal.

Computer scientists from the University of Glasgow took part in the project with partners from Amrita University in Kerela India.

Dr Amol Deshmukh, a research associate in the School of Computing Science at Glasgow Uni, said: “We wanted to see how people from considerably more remote rural populations would view robots, which have a lot of labour-saving potential.

“After several days of using the Husky, we surveyed each of the participants about their perceptions of the robot and how helpful they found it.

“Every one of them said the robot made their lives easier and they enjoyed working with the robot.

“Interestingly, they were also unanimous on the robot being ‘alive’, despite being aware that it was being controlled remotely.”

The robot can ‘speak’ to locals through a synthetic male voice

Akshay Nagarajan, from Amrita University, said: “Another thing that is unique about this study is it is making an effort to understand the challenges of introducing robotic solutions in a real-life rural setting.

“This is an essential step towards informing design decisions for robotic products that seek to address the populations at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”

Cross-Posted from Daily Record

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