Embracing The Robot Revolution
— Robotics, Automation, Mechatronics — 4 min read
Meet Shivam Joshi
Robotics Student @ New York University, NYU
Brooklyn, New York
Shivam Joshi is a first-year grad student at New York University majoring in Mechatronics and Robotics.
His keen interest is in the field of mobile robotics. He has learned a lot while participating in multiple student racing competitions during his undergrad in Mechanical Engineering, now he aims to step up his knowledge as he tries to input his share in developing self-driving car tech.
He is extremely excited to ride the waves of the fourth industrial revolution and seeks to devote his life to improving road safety and standard of living.
He currently lives in Brooklyn and can be contacted at email@example.com
What is your goal with your studies in robotics?
Currently, I want to work in the area of self-driving technology to 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?
As a roboticist, the first and foremost skill you need is the ability to communicate with robots. ie. you need to be good at writing algorithms in at least one programming language preferably Python, C++ or Matlab.
You need a solid understanding of mathematics subjects like linear algebra, probability, and calculus. Furthermore, depending on your area of application, you'll need a good knowledge of electronics, mechanics, control theory, design, neurology, among other subjects.
Mention some areas that robotics can be applied?
I believe that now is the best time to be alive, we are transforming humanity into the era where we have robots as companions never forgetting our favorite songs, shopping list, and other preferences.
Safer drivers than ourselves, farmers and cooks producing and processing our crops more efficiently, postman drones delivering that food and other essentials to our house, construction workers, who have constructed that house and other intelligent agents managing and monitoring warehouses, road traffic, wildlife, factories, investments, plus a long list of other tasks better than humans have ever done.
Robotics can be applied to any and every monotonous repetitive job and a beneficial area emerges when those jobs are undesired by humans due to lack of safety or novelty.
Explain why Robots will not replace humans?
Humans are better at learning new things at an average level way more quickly than robots, but robots get good at learning repetitive things at exceptional levels virtue of their outstanding computation power.
Learning a new skill requires a creative and engaged mind, it is accomplished by forming new neuron connections in our brain, a thing at which neurons in our brain are till now much better than artificial neurons.
So professions that require a creative mindset, out-of-the-box thinking, and presents unexpected scenarios frequently are the matters where human expertise will still be required with low chances of being replaced by robots.
Why is the manipulator in a robot important and what is its function?
There are two types of robots to categorize broadly: Manipulators and Mobile. Manipulators are robotic arms that are usually fixed to a spot and perform pick, place, tooling operations among others, and hence called 'manipulators'.
Manipulators come in a wide range of form factors and their usage lies from factory automation to robotic surgeries.
Though mobile robots tend to get more media attention probably because autonomous-driving tech is ready to make space the mainstream market, manipulators are and have been for a while now the mainstream and essential tools deployed for automation.
Moreover, as the technology and math behind them are much mature than their mobile counterpart, they are among the first robotics-related subjects taught in academia.
Explain a situation that is highly necessary to use robotics?
Well, currently there are plenty of areas where robots are already performing better than humans.
For instance, in warehouses and manufacturing plants, where they prove to be "economically necessary" being by-far better in terms of productivity and labor safety.
But apart from these economic streams, there are also some low to highly dangerous scenarios where one can't imagine sending a human instead of a robot.
Robots are first-choice for space exploration, drilling automation for oil/gas, for exploring deep oceans for data and new lifeforms, disaster response including nuclear accidents and controversially for military operations.
And it's great that the entire robotics community is working to meet demands from such a widespread domain.
What role models have been your greatest inspiration to get into robotics ?
Elon Musk, he is always the first person under my list of role models and inspirational figures.
I am a big fan of his approach towards problem-solving: reasoning from first principles. From him, I get the motivation to work for the environment and humanity in most innovative ways possible.
I am always inspired by Richard Stallman and the GNU project.
Linus Torvalds, and Willow Garage team for their contribution towards free software.
I'm also a big fan of Steve Jobs, Dieter Rams, and Jonathan Ive for their conception of human-centered design and product development.