India on the path of becoming Robotics & Automation hub : TechSagar EmergingTech Webinar Series

With the rise in Digitization and Technology, India as a country is amidst a Tech revolution. The advancement of technology brings our attention to the ‘Robotics & Automation’ sector which enables businesses to carry out the task with high-level automation, machine to machine integration with semi or fully autonomous robots.  R&A in India by far can be seen as a promising technology to speed up certain manual tasks.

The sixth episode of TechSagar EmergingTech Webinar Series aimed at constructing a collective discussion among industry experts from academia, start-ups, enterprise owners, and individual researchers to put some light on the role and strategic importance of Robotics and Automation (R&A) in India, focusing on research & innovation capabilities, policies, and industry collaboration.

The esteemed panelists included Dr. Santhakumar Mohan, Associate Professor, IIT Palakkad, Dr. Ekta Singla, Associate Professor, IIT Ropar, and Pulkit Gaur, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Gridbots Technologies.

The webinar was moderated by Mr. Vinayak Godse, Senior Vice President, DSCI by setting up the context for the discussion. He initiated on highlighting the fact how India witnessed a technological transformation in the 30 years since liberalization and shared a few key developments within the industry in the last 3-4 years that gave impetus to Robotics and Automation sector. This most definitely involves innovations, R&D, the emergence of semiconductor hardware, participation of global companies, product engineering, and an increase in Investments in startup innovation ecosystem revolution in the product industry.

The webinar served as a great platform to bring forward industry experts and their perspectives, ideas, and challenges that can help us understand the R&A sector better.  Some of the major key takeaways from the webinar can be stated as –

  • The Indian IT industry, including the R&A industry has evolved considerably in the last two decades. With rising adoption rates, there are more opportunities in India and globally for organizations than ever before
  • It is also noted that in India the R&A industry started emerging slowly, however, several start-ups are coming into the industry and delivering outcomes, such as semi-autonomous and autonomous robot prototypes, this is adding value into the supply chain.
  • The Indian healthcare industry has witnessed a massive digital transformation (including robotics) in the past 5-7 years and the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced this trend. Robotics in the healthcare sector has radically enhanced the ability of doctors, hospitals, and organizations to treat patients.
  • Industry 4.0 has shifted the manufacturing industry from automated systems to cyber-physical systems, which includes smart factories with semi-autonomous and fully autonomous robots.
  • Start-ups working in the robotics and automation sector need to get a boost from the stakeholders in the ecosystem. Incubators and accelerators in a collaboration with state government and the private sector should provide the required infrastructure and mentorship for the early-stage start-ups working towards the development of robotics and automation solutions.
  • India’s shortage of robotics experts, which can be overcome by upskilling and reskilling professionals and students.

Pulkit Gaur, Founder, and CTO, Gridbots Technologies, in his opening statement mentioned the journey of his enterprise, at a time when there were no other examples to emulate in the market, their company started developing indigenously from the ground. Today they stand at having developed over 20 Robots in various portfolios.

Other panelists in the webinar, Dr. Ekta Singla, Associate Professor, IIT Ropar stated a fact of fewer options in the domestic market of India in Robotics for people to pursue a career in this sector, lately, with better R&D and support system, it is indeed a possibility for many to grow in R&A sector.

Dr. Santhakumar Mohan, Associate Professor, IIT Palakkad explained the serving purpose of Robots in two different ways, one is to enhance human lives and the other is to keep up with the growing demands. A very important aspect of the R&A sector was discussed by highlighting the industry application of Robots, which entails its relations with the availability of labor and cost savings, resulting in better profitable outcomes.

All in all, the R&A sector has seen enormous growth in recent years in India. Most of the enterprises are shifting from the manual system to an automated system, given the benefits it offers- increased production, less human error, reduction in wastage, etc. The way the manufacturing industry is transforming from industry 3.0 to industry 4.0, most of the sectors are digitalizing their operation with the help of robotics and automation.

Readers can also watch the webinar recording on DSCI YouTube Channel.
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