What do you think needs to be done so that robotics technology can have standardisation, where the focus will become more on cooperation than competition?
Robotics is an amalgamation of various technology branches such as mechanics, electrical systems, sensors & other electronics, software intelligence like AI-ML and even product design that includes aesthetics in case of commercial products. This is why it is not easy to standardise each and every aspect of robotics from scratch. Standardisation is done with various supplementary technologies. In this context, it will be wiser to think of cooperation than competition.
What do you think are the challenges that start-ups face?
The major challenges we face as a hardware start-up are difficulty in getting quality spare parts locally, issues related to import policies and duty rates, lack of advanced manufacturing infrastructure within a limited geography and premature market. Customers need to be educated on the potential application of the product because longer sales cycles and radically high investment are required for scaling up. Other major challenges for robotics are the current cost involved, turnaround time for solution and productising and premature local market (public acceptance of robotic solutions for the problems of today).
Medical robotics is a space that your start-up has explored. How do you see a significant improvement worldwide in applying robotic healthcare?
There is a huge deficit of medical care and practitioners in today’s world. The need is going to get accumulated over the years. We also see specialisation is the main focus among practitioners, which will worsen the problem further. So, we think that robotics is the only solution to healthcare and is a huge opportunity. Hospitals will increasingly become superspeciality hospitals. There will only be ICUs rather than inpatient treatment for general aliments.
Tele-medicine, AI-ML based predictive diagnostics and robotic surgeries are the three areas with biggest opportunities in medical robotics. There are many examples of technology used for health and wellness, such as bionic implants, assistive systems for mobility and manipulation, nutrition and physical activity planner apps and wearables, robotised occupational therapies, magnified 3D visualisation tools, surgical and chemical procedure emulators that help with the training of junior surgeons and physicians, etc.
What do you have to say to budding start-ups?
Unlike earlier, the start-up eco-system is highly competitive now. So, it is not an easy journey to catch up with the expected growth cycle. Hence, right from ideation through scale-up, every single step needs to be clearly planned and well-thought about. It is also important for start-ups, especially hardware start-ups, to follow lean methodology until they get sufficient investment to scale-up. Until then, let passion be the driving force so that it will help in crossing the huddles till one reaches the shore.
What do you have envisioned for ASIMOV Robotics for the year 2020?
Our start-up envisages becoming one of the best robotics companies in the world in the medical and healthcare robotics space by 2020 last quarter. To make this dream come true, we have already started working with countries most established in hospital and healthcare organisations in providing the most efficient and effective solutions, which results in ROI and profitability.