Robots seek role in automation drive

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From effortlessly lifting your car that weighs over 1,000 kg to painting it, inspecting it and even sending a text message in case of an emergency – you name the task and they will perform it with ease. In case you haven’t guessed it yet – it robots – and some of them, claiming to be driven by the latest technology are on show at the auto expo.

Given their utility, there are 11 companies including ABB, Panasonic, Kuka, Precision Automation & Robotics India (PARI), Motoman Motherson Robotics, Hi-Tech Robotics Systemz, Fanuc and Rockwell who are at the expo, eyeing the Indian market where companies are increasingly focusing on automation. Of these 11 exhibitors, five are Indians, which shows that despite being a late entrant, the country has finally stepped into the world of robotics and automation.

The application of robotics, artificial intelligence technologies in India is quite new. Initially, companies were apprehensive to use robots in manufacturing or any other industry. But, now, as India is becoming manufacturing hub for companies all around the world, domestic players are realising the advantage of robotics and automation. At present, the growth in India is much faster than in Japan or other Asian countries, says Milind Adkar of PARI. The Pune-based company is displaying its ‘Golfing Robot’, which, it says, can play golf with 97% accuracy.

According to industry estimates, 2008 onwards, the world market for industrial robots is expected to grow 4.2% a year rising to 139,300 units in 2010. “In India, the industry is expected to grow by at least twice the global average,” says Rajive Kaul of CII.

Even as yearly supply of industrial robots in 2005-06 declined in many Asian countries, it grew in India. The shipment and operational stock of multipurpose Industrial robots in India is expected to touch 4,500 units by 2010 from 540 units in 2005. “The numbers are still far less than other countries, but considering India’s late entry, the potential seems tremendous,

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