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Vijay Seelam

CEO

Svaya Robotics

9 Ratings

ROBOTICS & HANDLING A future of human & robot collaboration

Mar 7, 2019

... says Vijay Seelam, CEO, Svaya Robotics, in this interview with Suchi Adhikari, where he shares his thoughts on how technological advancements are being made to make robots smarter and how the Indian market is getting in-tune with worldwide trends in the adoption of cobots.

Collaborative Robots or cobots are an emerging market globally. Can you brief us on the significant developments in cobot technologies in the recent years? What is the potential of cobots in the Indian market?

Rapid advances in motors, sensors, embedded computing and human-robot interaction technologies are enabling fast adoption of collaborative robots by both, large and small companies. Furthermore, Industry 4.0 trends are accelerating the digitalisation of the manufacturing world and cobots are truly enabling this transformation to make production adaptive and responsive to the fast emerging, on-demand economy.

The Indian market is getting in-tune with worldwide trends in the adoption of cobots and is poised to grow rapidly in the coming years. There is a growing realisation by manufacturing enterprises in India that to compete effectively, they need to co-opt automation technology that includes humans in-the-loop i.e., leverage human tacit knowledge and experience with machine precision and intelligence. Cobots just blend into that philosophy and approach.

Please elaborate on the development of Svaya Robotics — from making your first collaborative robot and seeing them assimilated in different enterprises to the challenges faced by the start-up.

Svaya Robotics, in close co-operation with Zuti’s R&D division (zuti.com), has developed India’s first collaborative robot. From inception, we were focused on creating a practical collaborative robot that was affordable and human-centred. We set out to create the product platform and core technologies that took us over 3 years and we have persisted, despite the lack of ecosystem in India, to prototype and develop a complex product such as this. We had to rely on our own in-house resources to custom-build the infrastructure and the talent to execute the project successfully.

The concept of collaborative robots centres around augmenting human ability. How does your company facilitate this teamwork between cobots and the human workforce? Is it a technology that is accessible to all?

We started with the mission to design collaborative robots that are simple, convenient and reliable to work alongside human workers and to augment and amplify their ability. Our human-robot interaction technology makes the robots accessible to anyone, experts or non-experts, without requiring them to master any programming languages or proprietary API’s. To achieve this, we have designed and engineered our system from a clean slate to seamlessly integrate hardware and software with built-in collaborative features, plug-n-play application versatility and most importantly, to work safely alongside humans without the need for any safety fences.

Given the latest developments in cobot technologies in the recent years, how do you plan to inculcate them in your solutions? Can you also list the sectors, which have been equipped with Svaya Robotics? Technological advancements are being

Technological advancements are being made to make robots smarter, more predictable to work alongside people and give them the ability to understand context and work in unstructured environments. We aim to achieve some of these objectives with the integration of tactile sensing, vision-based guidance and other sensor technologies into our products as they mature and do so cost-efficiently. We are actively working with clients in precision assembly, quality & inspection, machine tending, welding, gluing, marking, packaging etc.

What are your company’s strategies to advance the innovation and reach of your cobots in the coming years?

We envision a future, where our robots and humans inform and affect each other for true collaboration and autonomy – enable our robots to learn and adapt just as real people do. Towards achieving this goal, we are working on our robots to have the intelligence to understand task context and ambient intelligence, so they adapt with minimum downtime and enable enterprise manufacturing that is flexible, connected and intelligent.

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