Growing awareness is encouraging, say experts

Imagine a chair that could fly and take you to school, or a smartphone that doubles up as your TV or AC remote!

All this is possible in the world of robotics.

With quite a few summer camps on robotics springing up in the city, parents are gradually warming up to the concept of practical learning, and there has been a growing awareness about it.

“Most children have high curiosity element for any toy or gadget. They like to dismantle it and see what is inside. But at home, they are stopped from doing so. The idea of robotics workshops is to nurture the curiosity in a child and nourish their own methodology of creation,” said M. Srikanth, director and national head, Academy of Robotics.

The academy has a two-week and a four-week programme for children of six years and above. By building and programming robots, the students explore fundamentals of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer programming.

The concept of reverse engineering is used widely in these summer camps, wherein the learning time is shortened considerably.

“This is because you are working on a prototype, instead of the real model,” Srikanth added.

The academy has branches all across India, including two in the city and three in Hyderabad.

It also offers one month to three months programme for engineering students.

The growing inclination towards the concept of robotics has seen young B.Tech graduates launching their own firms in the city.

V. Naresh, who launched his academy called Megarobotics Technology this year, has already tied up with six schools for conducting summer camps.

Closing gap

Interestingly, the gender ratio in a robotics class, which used to be largely skewed towards boys not so long ago, is today seeing a balanced mix with many girls coming forward to explore the world of robotics.

While the market for robotics in India is yet to mature up to the levels of western countries, where the emphasis is far more on practical learning than theory, industry experts feel that the growth in awareness for robotics is an encouraging sign. “The challenge is to shift the emphasis to practical learning, which today is largely absent in most engineering colleges in the country,” said Srikanth.

According to industry estimates, the Indian robotics industry is worth approximately $750 million and is expected to double over the next three years.

This year, the Academy of Robotics has tied-up with JNTU, GITAM University, and some other colleges to offer training.

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