Robots are meant to assist humans and replicate their actions
Published by : Industrial Automation
John Livingstone, Founder CEO and Product Architect, Johnnette Technologies Pvt Ltd
What are the factors contributing to the low robot density in India or global in general?
There are a couple of things here: One, the rural population factor – India, as we all know, is still a developing nation with majority of it being rural who depend on low wage labour work. Considering how robots can/may replace humans, they fear that they may lose their jobs and only source of income. The second is the tech factor – A work in progress. Technological advancements are yet to be magnified. Some even say that ‘dependency’ on machines would lead to degradation of human efforts and knowledge but all the efforts are what leading to the advancements and thus a more civilised society.
What are the segments besides automotive that can use more robots?
Robots are meant to assist humans and replicate their actions. They can be used in manufacturing industry, research, aerospace, hospitals, geological explorations, security and inspection, mass production of goods and what not! Their accuracy, efficiency, safety tool and ability to reach inaccessible places would bring a revolution in the years to come.
Will the rapidly changing geopolitical scenario help India scale up manufacturing and lead to greater use of robots?
For sure! India has a growing international influence and has a prominent voice in global affairs. It is an emerging superpower and with such enhancing relations and globalisation, we could be the biggest manufacturing and export country in the world.
Are Cobots with their greater appeal bridging the gap?
Cobots may be a new term for people but is not a new concept. Their conjunction with in close proximity to humans and interaction with them makes them unique. Cobots offer a number of benefits compared with traditional robots, if used mindfully. They definitely are bridging the gap between fully manual assemblies and fully automated manufacturing lines. But the human machine interface (HMI) needs to be both user-friendly and safe.
In the aftermath of Covid-19, many startups have drafted robots as frontline warriors, especially service robots. How can this trend be channelised more effectively?
In the need of the hour, already a lot of startups have invested into making of robots than can sustain human interaction and correspond to it accordingly. In situation like todays, with minimum human interaction and more of hygiene maintenance, robots have done quite a remarkable job. Their constant durability due to rigid bodies, longevity and ease to work on directions will just do the job.
Will the growing use of AI and ML provide the much needed boost for wider use of robots?
Well, these are important role players in the robotic industry. With the usage of AI and ML, they help the robot to understand the physical and logistical data to be proactive and respond accordingly. The ability of robots to avoid obstacles and interact dynamically is only because of ML and AI play the right role in recognising objects with greater details. They tend to make robots to reach the levels of humans in terms of task recognition and problem solving hence bridging the gap to form fully autonomous. AI and ML are still in their infancy in regards to robotic applications, but they’re already having an important impact.
How relevant is RPA in manufacturing? Globally, several companies are now increasingly using RPA for back office activities related. Is this gaining traction?
It's the fastest-growing segment of enterprise software in the world. By adopting Robotic Process Automation (RPA), manufacturers can reduce human errors and increase productivity. Companies in the manufacturing industry were the early adopters of automation, implementing robots and processing lines to perform daily production activities in the plant.
How do you see automation transforming the future?
Automation is transforming businesses and will contribute to economic growth via contributions to productivity. They will also help address ‘moonshot’ societal challenges in areas from health to climate change. As we have all the live examples that not only prove how far we have come in the sectors of advancements, that day is not far when all the tough jobs that cost humans their health, excessive time and sometimes, lives, would be absolutely replaced by robots for the betterment of the entire society. Workers will need to acquire new skills and adapt to the increasingly capable machines alongside them in the workplace. They may have to move from declining occupations to growing and, in some cases, new occupations. But sometimes, we have to adapt as the time calls for it.
John Livingstone is Founder CEO & Product Architect, Johnnette Technologies Pvt Ltd And Founder & Executive Director, Indian Institute of Drones. ‘Isleep for 6 hours, workout for 2 hours, spend time with family for 1 hour and the rest 15 hours I just enjoy playing games, business games. Biggest achievement in my life is Freedom of Choice,’ says John. ‘The biggest challenge to any entrepreneur is to create a company from nothing to something and from something to everything people love about it,’ he adds. Johnnette Technologies Pvt Ltd is the first and the only company in India to have publications on unmanned air/ground/marine vehicles and systems in India as well as make indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Robotic Platforms in India.
#August 2020 Magazine Cover Story
ROBOTS IN MANUFACTURING Globally, AI powered robots with autonomous learning capabilities are transforming the manufacturing landscape. The word robot has a Slavic root, the meaning associated with labour, and that is how it has come to be relevant, the most common justification for the use of a robot being it takes the drudgery out of monotonous, repetitive tasks, often also difficult or dangerous for human workers. The first modern robot was patented by George Devol, an American inventor in 1954, but it was put in use by General Motors only in the early 60s, so the history of the modern robot is just about 6 decades. To read the full cover story Please click here