According to the International Federation of Robotics,the sale of robots in India peaked to around 2,100 in 2014. Though they continue to be used in large industrial plants, the coming years look promising for small and medium sized manufacturers to adopt robots in a big way. Medical, healthcare, entertainment, media, agriculture, dairy, and rural industries are other fields that are expected to adopt robotics extensively.
Debashis Das, CEO of Milagrow Business and Knowledge Solutions, a company that holds a large share of the consumer robots market in India, pegs the production of robots targeted at the household sector to be around 10,000 pieces annually. Currently this is a small number given the fact that there is availability of cheap labor for household chores. However, this is set to change in the coming years.
The opening up of various job opportunities in the retail, ecommerce and hospitality sectors is bound to create a dearth of cheap labor. This is where robotics can come to the rescue by performing menial and monotonous tasks hitherto done manually.
Some of the areas where robotics is likely to make a big impact are:
River cleaning: This is one area where India, in spite of significant effort, has not had much success, The Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has shown a keen interest in using robots to clean up rivers. Currently pilot projects at the river Ganga and Yamuna are showing promising results.
Given that the medical advancements in India have increased life expectancy, it is estimated that in the next decade 12.4 percent of our population will be elderly. This is one sector that may see a tremendous growth in the usage of robotics.
Bridges, dams and other such structures are difficult to inspect and maintain. Robots can be very helpful in detecting cracks and suggesting the need for repairs which if left to manual intervention may lead to a chance of error that could prove fatal.
Role of IT in robotics:
IT is at the heart of robotics considering it’s a multidisciplinary field. Before getting into the details, the concept of a robotic paradigm needs to be understood. In robotics, it refers to a mental model of how a robot operates describing the relationship between the three primitives of robotics: sense, plan (or think) and act.
There is a fourth aspect to this which is connectivity, and technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things) and cloud computing play a significant role. Bose believes IT is what connects the dots in robotics. Robots equipped with cloud connectivity and IoT capabilities can add significant value to end users via remote diagnostics and preventive maintenance.
Further, with the advent of AI-equipped robotic systems, a lot of value-add can be expected in the medical and healthcare sectors.
Skills required to enter the field of robotics:
Robotics requires various skill-sets such as design skills in software architecture; understanding of real time systems, cloud systems, and inter-device communications. Knowledge of programming languages and simulation is also important.
For a career in robotics, one most possesses skills that map to at least one of the primitives of robotics – sense, plan/think, act and connect. Those who are keen on the sense aspect need to have skills of computer vision and its theories in addition to machine learning. Skills associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its related algorithms are required to analyse the data collected after a robot has completed sensing its environment. The third aspect related to acting, requires skills in kinetics, schematics, mechanical engineering etc.
Finally for connectivity, skills required are the standard IT related ones — knowledge of programming languages, communication protocols, networking and understanding cloud systems.
In Andhra Pradesh no private robotic training labs are there to encourage students to gain knowledge on robotics. There are some but providing only by some engineering colleges and some official schools who also charge a lot of money for learning and paid kits for practicing them.
AIC are focusing on robotics by starting training programs for school and engineering students by providing kits and capable trainers at one place by taking less fee and returning subject on robotics. So students can learn-build-patent their projects in our labs.Services of our lab: