Opportunities, Challenges, and the Future of Robotics in India

Opportunities, Challenges, and the Future of Robotics in India

Robots are quickly moving out of controlled environments into homes and public spaces. In fact, researchers are also developing artificial intelligence systems that will allow robots to make decisions autonomously. Is India ready for such a transition? In this article, we will discuss the opportunities, challenges, and future of robotics in India in detail.

With the advancement of science and technology in India, robotics is entering the industrial space rapidly. As entrepreneurship opportunities and employment are opening up for tech enthusiasts who desire to enter this growing and exciting field, future of robotics in India seems bright and promising. India, like the rest of the world, has understood that skill, speed, accuracy, and consistency of robots are unmatched by humans.

Opportunities: Robotic technologies are extensively used across a range of sectors such as atomic energy, space, metals, textiles, automotive, and manufacturing industries. Besides, health sector in India has also initiated the use of robotic technology widely in operation theatres and even in rehabilitation centers to augment the quality of life. Robotics has proved to be a growing field and many avenues have opened in recent past. Many experts believe that robotics is best suited for industrial automation which includes manufacturing, packaging, and assembling. In fact, robotics and automation have the potential to revolutionize the industrial scenario by promising to bring the same result as computer systems have brought in services and other sectors. Robotics in automation sector has proved to improve productivity, safety as well as the quality of the end product while allowing the human operators to take up more value-added roles.

In fact, the effects of robots replacing jobs in large numbers are already felt. Over a period of three years, the Indian textile giant Raymond replaced nearly 10,000 jobs. In another instance, executives of Grey Orange, a home-grown warehouse robotics company, believe that the ‘Butler’ robots can pick up nearly 600 items an hour as against human worker who can manage to pick up to close to 100 items. Furthermore, the ‘Sorter’ robots manufactured by Grey Orange company can automatically scans and sort packages in the warehouses of e-commerce and logistics giants like Jabong, Flipkart, and DTDC.

Challenges: There are many challenges that India must overcome before it is considered as a go-to destination for robotics.
One of the biggest challenges is cost and procurement of the required hardware and other electronic components to build a robot. Due to the extensive paperwork involved in importing hardware components into the country, not many commercial applications are ready to enter the market. Additionally, acquiring and retaining quality talent is one of the biggest challenges, as robotics is a multidisciplinary field. Another major challenge is that SME customers expect visible ROI prior to proactively adopting robotics.

Future: Robotics is mainly capturing industries like manufacturing, pharmaceutical, packaging, FMCG, and inspection. The other promising sectors include education and defense. There is no doubt that robotics technologies are all set to change the way things are done in the industries in which they are being implemented. Experts believe that in the near future it is inevitable that robotics will become an essential aspect of various sectors. Like other technologies, adoption of robotics technology would is usually slow. However, the rising demand for robotics technology in a wide array of industries indicate that there will be huge opportunities and hence a higher rate of adoption of robotics technology.

At the forefront of India’s manufacturing process would be the companies with advanced and innovative automation technologies. The increasing emphasis on the new initiative, “Make in India”, will shoot up the demand for robotics technology. The need for meeting global manufacturing standards and huge opportunities for foreign players will be definitely witnessed shortly by Indian robotics industry.

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VP of Business Development at Kingsoft Office Software Corporation Limited