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CII's 2nd Robotics and Automation Conference held in Bangalore Print E-mail
Written by Arjun   
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Bangalore: The 2nd Robotics and Automation Conference organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) coinciding with IETF 2009, felt there is a lot of scope for use of Robotics to perform tasks that pose risks to human beings.

Mr Deep Kapuria. Chairman and Managing Director, Hi-Tech Gears Ltd, said in his welcome address, Industrial automation in India opens up huge potential for robotics. Though Robotics in India is in nascent stage, this industry has huge potential to cater to the needs of versatile tasks required for various industries. Even the the use of thinking and decision making robotics is not far away.

Mr Mel Siegel, Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, said Robotics can replace human beings in several hazardous and monotonous jobs that undermine human dignity. Manufacturing, agriculture and service industries are the three major industries, which can deploy robotics. He recollected the words of Mahatma Gandhi that Robots are welcome as long as they help human beings to be more productive and creative, but they should not make human beings their slaves.

Mr V S Mahalingam, Director, Center for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, ministry of Defence, said, We are working on robotic systems with coginitive skills. There is a need to equip Robots with such skills so that they learn from their environments and decide appropriate tasks. He added that in the future robots would perform as a group (swarm).

Mr B R Satyan, Director, Central Manufacturing Technology Institute, said, There is so much of scientific information available on robotics and the need of the hour is to apply this knowledge to specific applications and tasks. We have to go for robotics in assembly production environments as they reduce production life cycle costs very effectively. He added that CMTI has a role to play in the interface zone.

Mr Sandeep Rajan, Department head for welding and engineering, Marti Suzuki India Ltd., spoke about the end-user's expectations from the Robotics and Automation industry. "We need to focus on developing lower cost systems. Currently almost all parts of the robot is imported. The flexibility needs to be increased by making it extendable and modifiable because we cannot afford to change the facility every 5 - 6 years for a new product. Robots should be designed to consume less space and energy and should have inbuilt predictive alarm and maintenance."

He said that there was a need to reduce technological obsolescence. "The lifecycle of PLCs is becoming lower. New technologies should be able to support old technologies also. There should be a commonization of parts to ensure easy availability of spares. As a practical person i feel that the life of a robot should be more than 10 years. At MSIL we are still able to use robots and automation tech that we acquired as early as 1998."

Representatives from NPCL, BARC & IGCAR spoke about the application of automation and robotics in nuclear power plants.

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