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Serving Society With Smart Robotics

Robotics, Service Robots, Smart Robotics, Health Care3 min read

Arijit Saha

Meet Arijit Saha

Intelligence and Autonomy Engineer @ Jetbrain Robotics

Gurgaon, Haryana, India 

Arijit Saha is a Senior Robotics Engineer currently working on a software framework that allows him to write applications that operate robotic hardware.

His work mostly on algorithms to perform navigation tasks on robots by interfacing and obtaining data from sensors like sonars, LIDAR, and wheel encoders.

He is also involved in performing simultaneous localization of the robot and mapping of the unknown environment in simulation software (Rviz, Gazebo) and also on mobile robots.

What inspired you to pursue a career in Robotics?

It all started startlingly. Since my childhood, I had a keen interest to know unknown things. Most of the time my mind was occupied in thinking about something in a logical, sensible way.

And thus I had been embraced into science to explore new things and technologies.

As I grew up my passion for technology became more intense. During my M.Tech days, I started working in the domain of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

From that time I aimed to build smart solutions that would be capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. With that vision, I got involved in developing some real-world projects with Computer Vision on Github.

After completing my M.Tech I got an offer from Jetbrain Robotics whose foremost objective was to develop India’s first Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) for healthcare.

I didn’t turn back but accepted the offer as a Robotics Software Developer.

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

Just like any career, robotics demands a unique set of hard and soft skills. But as a roboticist, I believe the first and foremost skill you need is the ability to communicate with robots.

As we all know Robots are very complicated systems and working with them requires knowledge in a varied set of disciplines. We have to be aware of mechanics, electronics, programming, sensing, and even psychology and cognition.

As a roboticist, we can not afford to say “that’s a mechanical or electrical problem, it’s not my job”. We must be well versed in how systems are working differently. Therefore, skills like Systems Analysis and Systems Evaluation are the key to being a good roboticist.

Apart from that, the programming mindset is very much required to interact with robots. You need to be good at writing algorithms in at least one programming language preferably Python or C++.

Mathematics is another core backbone of robotics. Without a good perception of topics like linear algebra, calculus, probability, or geometry it could be challenging to succeed in robotics.

What are the challenges affecting the development of mobile robotics?

This is undeniably true that the advancements in mobile robotics are hindered by certain technical challenges. We, the robotics manufacturers are working hard to develop mobile robots that overcome challenges in power, payload, and navigation.

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) require compact, stable, high–energy batteries to continuously work in environments where 24/7 service is being required.

So that optimized intelligent auto charging is the next essential things to do to enhance the working efficiency of robot fleets. Another challenge facing technology is payload. Most of the robotics companies are still struggling a lot in figuring out the payload.

As of now manual mapping of an unknown environment is the most crucial part of the navigation of the robot.

It requires time and a man has to get involved in creating the map. It is another obvious challenge for AMRs.

So, we Jetbrain Robotics, are working to tackle this by evaluating autonomous mapping technology and incorporating more sensors along with laser scanners to detect features of the environment.

Explain the benefits of Robotics in society with one example?

If you ask me about the benefits of using robots in society, then it would be very difficult for me to give a single example. Many benefits of robots seem to be most noticeable in productivity, safety, and saving time and money.

Many organizations are deploying robots to improve their existing services, reduce the burden on their human staff, or simply to provide a new experience to their customers.

For example, AMRO, our first autonomous transportation robot, was built to transport medicines, samples & other items securely and safely throughout the hospital, continuously throughout the day.

ARYA, the assistive care robot, is an interactive intelligent companion for patients at hospitals, to help them with their health-specific queries, provide 24*7 monitoring of patients to doctors & assist the hospital staff with timely administration of medication.

And after COVID-19, the demand for robotics technology has been great. A large number of hospitals across the globe are currently using robots to aid both the healthcare staff and patients.

What goal you would like to reach in the next 5 years as a Roboticist?

As a roboticist, I want to improve the technology currently available to us and would also like to make valuable contributions to improving algorithms to provide more intelligence to our robots.

Being a part of robotics fraternity, my ultimate goal is to serve the society by providing smart robotics technology which can emulate the actions of humans for the welfare of the world.