Deccan Chronicle

Robotic telepresence to replace Skype

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: January 21, 2015 | Updated on: Invalid date

A Delhi-based firm has designed a robot, which is mobile and takes commands

Representational Image (Photo: A-SET Robotics, Facebook)

Representational Image (Photo: A-SET Robotics, Facebook)

Mumbai: Skype and video conferencing will soon be overtaken by robot telepresence by mid-2015 in an exciting breakthrough made by A-SET Training & Research Institute, New Delhi.

It will enable an industrialist for instance, sitting in Mumbai, to see what exactly is happening in all his offices abroad, said Diwakar Vaish, head, robotics & research at A-SET. The family owned business is the largest investor in robotics in India. 

In Skype or video conferencing that is in use presently, you can only see what the stationary camera shows you. But in this, the robot is mobile and can take commands and this is all visible on a smart phone. 

"The robot will cost around Rs 50,000, akin to the price of a smart phone. Any businessman can afford it. It is still in design mode and we are currently testing the feasibility and aesthetics," Mr Vaish said.

Mr Vaish recently displayed at the IIT-Mumbai technology fest India’s first 3D research humanoid robot MANAV that was completely designed, programmed and fabricated by him, and sells for one-tenth of the cost available commercially. 

"The prototyping of this project has been done on a rapid basis, i.e. using the latest in technology we have tested the strength, weakness, life time and other parameters, virtually through simulation.  So the cost of making and testing in reality was reduced. Its weight was kept at a minimal low so the cost spent on motors of the robot was reduced, as it would need smaller and less expensive motors to move the robot. Lastly 3D printing has ultimately been the holy grail to this robot as all our ideas were directly made without thinking of industrial complications," he said.

A robot includes physical structure, micro controller parts etc., that are not available in India—about 1,000 to 10,000 pieces are required. This has been eliminated as 3D printing eliminates all this. So there is tremendous saving on imports, customs duty, and shipping costs.

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