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Developing Digital Workforce – Future Ready

Robotics, ROS, Digital Workforce4 min read

Jignesh Khakhriya

Meet Jignesh Khakhriya

Robotics Software Engineer (COE) @ Royal Dutch Shell

Bangalore, India

Jignesh Khakhriya is a Robotics Software Engineer with 5+ years of experience in industry & Mater’s degree in Computer Applications from the University of Mumbai.

He believes that we are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and relate to one another. The fourth industrial revolution is unlike anything humankind has experienced before.

Hence, he develops a virtual workforce(Bots) that are future-ready by giving the business more productive hours back for innovations & creativity. He is a quick learner & motivated towards working for social good using robotics technologies.

In his free time, he likes learning about Emerging Technologies, Social Services & Photography


Define Digital Workforce and How relates to Robotics?

Currently, I want to work in the area of self-driving technology as I believe we can make roads much safer by using intelligent and connected vehicle systems. I believe in serving humanity but instead of using philanthropy I want to use technology as my mode of delivering the same.

I want to work on projects which make lives safer, resources more accessible, and improve standards of living. And with that in mind, I choose the career path in robotics, which I believe can certainly take all the mundane, unsafe jobs along with enabling us to have more time for invest on meaningful things and reflect on problems to solve, we'll have more leisure and satisfaction in our lives.

There is indeed a robot revolution going on and I want to contribute to this revolution for better.

Describe the skills you think are needed to be a roboticist?

Whenever we say Robots, we start imagining a physical human-like structure trying to mimic human activities in the physical world like waiter, policeman or factory workers.

But in real case robotics is a much wider field of engineering,Automation is a major disruptive technology behind the digital workforce.

Imagine a scenario where thousands of employees working in office premises, performing some activities daily. Which they could dedicate to someone to utilize their time for more innovative work?

Digital / Software Robots come into rescue here by performing these repetitive tasks more quickly, accurately, and tirelessly than humans residing inside once system.

There could be multiple categories of digital workforce like RPA bots for Backoffice tasks, Chatbots for front office communications, Intelligent bots which uses AI, ML & NLP technologies to perform smart decision making or Manager bots who assigns work to all these digital workforces

When did you start to like Robotics?

From school days I would say,

Automation was always an area of interest for me, visualizing things getting performed automatically without any human intervention was an area of excitement.

But my profession in robotics started at my previous organization when I came across a target from a top investment banker, which was not possible to achieve by any human being in the given time frame at any cost, increasing more workforce was not a feasible solution.

Hence, I started exploring a solution to this problem & concluded it by developing software RPA bot, it worked 24 x 7 with high efficiency & without any human interventions to achieve that target before the deadline.

And I started my career with exploring more about this filed of software robotics

What are your goals as a Robotics Software Engineer?

Well, that’s ambitious,

The way we are seeing robot workers replacing full-time employees from boring & repetitive tasks, as we will give more intelligence power to robots using AI, ML & NLP technologies – bots will be able to perform decisions the way any human employee does or even more efficiently.

My goal is to have a startup with 100% of such digital workforce working at different levels performing different activities such as any human employee do.

We can have intelligent chatbots to communicate with stakeholders, RPA bots to perform all backend processes & physical robots for any physical activities.

Well that seems very difficult now, but the way robots are performing out some most complex professions including police, doctor or factory workers – it is possible to have such an organization completely run by robots.

How Robotics could Fight the spread of a Deadly Outbreak?

Deadly Outbreaks like current worldwide COVID-19 quarantine are the major reasons for improving our robotics capabilities in each & every sector to save humanity & fight them without the physical involvement of any human being.

Many organizations that visualized such situations have already deployed their digital workforce in work to overcome huge losses they could have faced due to the unavailability of their employees.

  • Many developers from the Robotics community are coming forward to develops digital bots for the organization

  • Apollo has developed a coronavirus risk scan & self-test chatbot.

  • School kids in Korea have developed hand sanitizers robot.

  • Many pharmaceutical companies using physical robots for manufacturing masks, sanitizers & other medical equipment.

  • Besides those robots are used for each & every activates involved in the fight against corona including.

  • Sanitization of cities, Patrolling on the road or even Treatment of patient’s Thus, Robots are & will play a significant role in the fight against any deadly outbreaks in the world.

How robotics is being received in your country and what industries are applying it?

India, the country of 1.5 billion people… It is very easy to find skilled employees for any level of work at significantly low cost than that of robotics implementation, thus it was assumed that robots will not have significant footprints here in India But, that’s not true!

As per global predictions, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) or Digital Bots market will cross estimated £5.98 billion in 2020 & India is emerging as Hub for RPA Implementations In Report by ET Tech, The Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently unveiled the Future Skills platform that aims at up-skilling two million technology professionals and skilling another two million potential employees and students over the next few years.

RPA & Robotics are one of the primary skills included in it by NASSCOM Though, Labor cost is low in India – many organizations across various sectors including Healthcare, Finance, Food & Restaurant, Manufacturing, Defense, Research and Social Services are understanding the importance of Robotics including Digital or Physical Robots & already started their journey towards it - due to some of the non-negotiable features of robotics including Efficiency, Availability, Safety, Employee happiness, etc.