Robotics over the past few years, has gained lot of popularity among today’s students as a preferred career choice. Robots are machines that can either independently, or on command, carry out a series of operations and functions. It is a branch of engineering that involves the design, construction and operation of robots.
From moving goods around on a production floor to performing complex medical procedures, and being on space exploration missions, robots are fast becoming an important part of our lives. Coupled with advancements in other areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics will play an increasingly integral role in our way of life.
Trends in India
India is still at a nascent stage when it comes to the rise of robotics. As per a global report in 2017, there are only three robots per 10,000 employees in India. This is clearly insufficient to support the country’s industrial growth targets for sustained growth. Interventions, therefore, must be made in our education system to prepare the young students for the future by introducing robotics early on.
Learning through robotics can be more effective in engaging the students and also instil scientific temperament in them. Technology is what drives the world today and students must be adept with the latest developments to be a productive member of the society.
The government has introduced policies such as National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) and the National Education Policy (NEP) to create a new world of innovation and creativity. The NSQF is meant develop an interlink between a child’s educational assessment and to his/her aptitude and skills.
Benefits of Robotic Education
- In a job market that is dominated by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), demand for candidates with qualifications in robotics has seen a near 200 percent growth. This trend is likely to sustain for the foreseeable future as the demand-supply gap stabilizes.
- By introducing robotics in schools as part of the educational curriculum, student’s interest in the field can be nurtured early on.
- Learning robotics also encourages the development of higher-order thinking capability and problem-solving skills to produce highly qualified and productive talents for the future.
- Robots are being developed and deployed in an increasing number of roles across different industries. With the increasing sophistication of robots, robotics calls for greater collaboration and communication in inference drawing, model construction, testing and controlling of a robot.
- With students exposed to robotics from a young age, they also learn valuable life skills in teamwork, communication and even community participation in the process.
- Govt has established Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India with an aim to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds.
- Under this initiative, young children get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Startups in Robotic Education
Android Robo is a multi-disciplinary Robotics program that has specially tailored curriculum to teach young school students about Robotics. The course can be taught from the basics to advanced levels. Robotics includes Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, S.T.E.A.M and Programming which encourages students to connect these disciplines. Students are aksed to create their own Robot and in this process, they begin to learn through doing.
Fund Raised from- Angels
An edtech startup offering children practical exposure to these concepts through kits and personalised online guidance is Chennai-based SP Robotics Works. It is a platform where children aged 7-17, as well as college students and graduates, can learn concepts practically in a fun-filled way and understand where they can be applied, says Pranavan S, who founded SP Robotics with Sneha Priya. The startup also offers lessons in coding and Android app building.
Fund Raised from- Angels.
Founded in October 2014 by three IIT Bombay post-graduates Chintan Raikar, Prashant Iyengar, and Sneh Vaswani, Emotix aims to address social needs of Indian parents and children. With a team of engineers, mathematicians, artists, and neuro-psychologists, the company created Miko – an artificial intelligence (AI) based companion robot.
Fund Raised from- Chiratae, Yournest.
Launched in 2018 by Mohit Bansal, a serial entrepreneur who holds rich experience in education and gaming industry, iChamp is a digital platform that uses intuitive quiz-based learning to enhance math and English skills among children in the 5-13 years age group
Fund Raised from- Angels.
Founded in 2016 by Vivek Goyal and Dinesh Advani, graduates of Stanford GSB and IIT Kharagpur, Playshifu creates engaging and immersive AR experiences for children encouraging early STEM skills.
Fund Raised from- Chiratae, Inventus
Edtech unicorn BYJU’S recently launched its Disney-BYJU’S Early Learn app. At present, it is available in India on Google Play Store and will soon be available on the Apple App Store.
Fund Raised from- Gen Atlantic, Tencent among many others.
New-Delhi based Smartivity Labs was founded in February 2015 by Tushar A Amin, Apoorv Gupta, Rajat Jain, and Ashwini Kumar. It is dedicated to designing, developing and selling STEM educational toys, blended learning (technology-enabled physical toys), and tangible play activities for children in the age group of three to 14 years.
Fund Raised from- Angels.
Zephyr uses modern tech to keep its range of educational toys relevant. It makes use of robotics training sets that impact STEM skills in a child in such a way that even a 10-year-old can absorb this technical knowledge.
Fund – Bootsrapped.
It strives to empower a whole generation to become creators versus consumers of technology. They teach fundamentals of coding–logic, structure, sequence and algorithmic thinking to enable kids to generate creative outcomes like websites, animations and apps.
Fund Raised From- Nexus Venture Partners, Omidyar Network India
Prominent VC Deals of 2020
Commercial/Industrial Robotic Startups in India
Robots have evolved much from assembling machine parts to now as humanoid robots, from giant arms loading cargo to delivery bots of Starship Technologies.
Robotics can help power economies along with making the technology leap, in the domestic market, much like its other Asian leaders, i.e., South Korea, China, and Japan.
As per a survey report by end of 2019, India has doubled number of industrial robots in 5 years.
ASIMOV Robotics: Pvt – Research, medical and Defense Robots.
Systemantics: Industrial robotics start-up in Automation.
Gridbots: Industrial Robots in Defense, space, nuclear and industrial sectors.
DiFacto: Industrial Automation Robotics.
GreyOrange: Warehouse and Logistics Robotics.
Omnipresent Robot Tech: UAVs, River Cleaning and Clean care Service Robots.
Invento Robotics: This start-up rose prominence with its 5-foot-tall Mitra robot which was first shown off at India’s 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, where it greeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The robot is designed for the service industry, and can interact with customers as well as provide autonomous navigation.
With adoption of Industry 5.0 and talks of 6.0 gaining prominence, Early Robotic Education attains paramount importance for Indian Schools in order to equip the coming generation to match the future job market skill sets.