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Robotics and Its Many Avatars

Emmanuel Christi Das, Editor

If you thought robots are a 21st century prodigy making you part of the enlightened generation, think again. Robots or automated machines, as we may call them, date back to astonishing times. We’re not even talking medieval, we’re talking ancient. Around 270 B.C. an ancient Greek engineer named Ctesibius used ‘automatons’ or loose figures to build water clocks. Greek mathematician Archytas of Tarentum postulated a mechanical bird, which he names, ‘The Pigeon’. It was propelled by steam. Hero of Alexandria (10–70 AD), made a fair number of innovations in the field of automata,

including one that allegedly could speak. Now, there’s no recorded proof of it, nevertheless automation in that period was the road to Damascus. In ancient China, a text written in the 3rd century BC gives proof of present day humanoids. As per the text, King Mu of Zhou is presented with a life size, human shaped mechanical figure by Yan Shi, an ‘artificer’.

Modern day Robots had almost become a common phenomenon in the domestic and corporate sector. Until recently, innovators found their epiphany once again, and pushed the boundaries of robotics. Uncaged, mobile, collaborative and increasingly intelligent and dexterous, Robots are moving beyond their traditional strongholds to bring automation to previously inaccessible tasks. When we talk about robots, we don’t usually think about humanoids running around the house doing house chores. That’s not the first picture that comes to our minds; obviously because we are informed enough to see where the actual scope and application of robots lie. Industrial robots have now become defacto for the industrial growth of any nation. Robotic arms have come a long way since they were first introduced in 1951. Today, rows of industrial robotic arms help automate tasks and boost productivity in many industries including automotive, electronic, chemical production, food processing and so on.

The categories are endless with new innovations making way for robotics to enter and take the wheel. In this edition, we’re throwing light on few of the most recommended Indian innovators out there who are making history in this light bulb moment of robotics.
Do let us know what you think.

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