We all have grown up watching sci-fi movies like Star Trek, Star Wars, the Terminator series as well as recent superhero movies like Avengers and Black Panther. All these movies showcase how humans and intelligent machines work together towards building a safer and smarter environment for humanity to grow and progress. Not just in movies but also, in reality, robotics and artificial intelligence are growing its prominence in various sectors like manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, transportation and so on.
The tech entrepreneurs like Elon Musk are not just pushing the cover of robotics and artificial intelligence in manufacturing but making most of its use to exploit it for challenging conditions for space exploration. Hence, it is not wrong to say that the future of Robotics and AI is bright.
As per the recent NITI Aayog report in October 2018, AI-led startups are getting maximum funding, up to 108% increase, in year on year numbers and close to 400 startups in the country are pushing new developments in the field of robotics and AI. This is a great sign for students planning to pursue a career in the field, as in the near future these startups will create many more job opportunities. Courses from engineering institutes like DYPIU(dypiu.ac.in) , provide specialization in artificial intelligence, Data Science, Robotics and AI and IoT and other upcoming areas.
Opportunities for AI and Robotics
Healthcare - The healthcare sector has a huge demand for technology advancement in our country. Today, doctors are using robotics in the operation theaters and rehabilitation centers, but that is not even a fraction of the demand that exists in the country. AI and robotics-lead healthcare services are just going to grow, as the healthcare sector needs more trained professionals in the country. Development of Humanoid Robots and Neuromorphic Chips would be a game changer in this as well as many other areas.
Manufacturing - The technology has always helped manufacturers maintain their competitive edge, and with the advent of AI, many automation processes have been optimized. Manufacturers have also been adopting automation for packaging, logistics, assembly and many more. Robotics is increasing safety and viability standards in manufacturing units.
Challenges and future ahead
Due to an extensive technology upgrade, many old manufacturing units still shy away from taking advantage of AI-lead upgrades. The small and medium enterprise sector, which provides maximum raw material to the manufacturer, looks for a quick return on technology upgrades and hence creates a bottleneck in upgrades. Lack of trained manpower has resulted in unskilled and cheap labour being used by MSMEs to retain their costing, hence the technology upgrades being cost-intensive become un-affordable to them in the short term.
Future Prospects for students
Robotics is mainly being used in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, packaging, and FMCG, but there are tremendous growth opportunities in agriculture, education and the defense sector. India has the right talent pool for technology advancement and with global players like Microsoft, Intel and Google investing in grassroots growth of the sector, the future holds tremendous opportunities for those who can acquire the right knowledge and education for the same. Even without realizing we all have been using some form of artificial intelligence technology through smart phone devices and social media platforms. It is crucial for India to fast as adapt to this opportunity.