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Robotics is the future, but no takers

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Staff Reporter

The science has not picked up as expected in India, says Dr. Venkatesh

VISAKHAPATNAM: “Robots are being used in every sector. They have been scaled down from the macro-level to micro and nano-level. Robots are being used by the defence sector as well as by the medical field. But in the same scale, the study of robotics has not picked up as expected in India,” said the G. Venkatesh, the Chief of Research and Development of Bangalore-based Docel Radio Research.

He was here to participate in a three-day workshop on robotics at GITAM University.

In an interview to The Hindu here on Sunday, he felt that there is a basic misconception among the parents and the students as well that robotics is all about electronics and programming and when they find out that the ground realities are different they move out.

“The study of robotics is interdisciplinary. It includes concepts from various disciplines like mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, basic physics and instrumentation, apart from electronics and computer programming. The IT boom seems to have seeped into the mindset of the people and with every passing day people are becoming ignorant of the core specialities,” he said.

To develop interest amidst students, Dr. Venkatesh moves from one institute to another to hold workshops and distribute robotic kits.

Unlimited scope

“People do not realise that robotics is the future. Today, the concept of robotics is used in all chemical and hazardous industries and is slowly becoming the heart and soul of defence and space technology.

Spy robots

The US deployed over 5,000 spy robots in the shape of bats, which were called the ‘black widows’, to detect Saddam Hussein, and the development and use of various forms of unmanned vehicles speak about the use of robotics.

Even drugs are being delivered within the body by nano-robots.

The scope is unlimited and students have to realise that,” he said.

Practical mode

He blamed the education system for the lack of interest in core specialities. “Our education system hinges on the syllabus module.

We have to move away from this system to the practical mode.

This is the only area where the US education system scores over us. Moreover, the IT boom is also weaning away students from the core areas.

By the time a student reaches the third year he or she is already recruited by an IT company.

This added with the peer pressure and influence of the parents, leaves no time or thought for the student to contemplate on what he or she actually intends to do,” said Dr. Venkatesh.

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