It is self-evident that robots are becoming increasingly important in people's lives.
Robots can be found in manufacturing, restaurant service, as receptionists, nurses, firefighters, and even as warriors. Not all robots resemble humans, as we all know (i.e., they are not humanoids). As a result, we frequently overlook the robots who have quietly but steadily infiltrated nearly every area of our lives.
So, why are we talking about robotics right now? Robotics has progressed to the point where a convergence of technologies will cause the robotics sector to boom in the not-too-distant future. Artificial intelligence is merging with voice technology, sensors, and all-pervasive networking, resulting in the creation of increasingly powerful and useful robots. We have no idea that an autonomous vehicle (also known as a self-driving car) is nothing more than a robot in which we shall sit and be transported.
So, why is it important to bring these events up in the context of India? It's because robotics is yet another "huge bus" we're about to miss. Yes, the country has a slew of companies and strong robotics expertise. However, being able to capture a large portion of the global robotics industry is insufficient. Furthermore, we as a country require robots for certain purposes, such as replacing hazardous manual scavenging with robots or combating terrorism. In fact, even though India is a young country with one of the world's greatest populations of individuals under the age of 24, we also have one of the world's largest numbers of the elderly, who would benefit from robotic assistance.
There are several areas in which India would benefit from robotic assistance. For example, in order to exploit the demographic dividend, we will need a significant amount of time to recruit the huge number of high-quality teachers required to educate the enormous number of young people we have. If we continue to train teachers in the old method, it will be too late. Robotics will be critical in delivering high-quality education on a large scale. Similarly, robotics will revolutionise healthcare, agriculture, mining, and other industries, or we will be trapped in a low-productivity cycle as a society.
As is customary, there may be fears that robots may eliminate jobs. Stopping the march of technology is not a viable argument, since technology will continue to advance at a breakneck pace, and if India is not at the vanguard, we will be crushed beneath the wheels of obsolescence and poor productivity.
The robotics industry was worth $103.95 billion globally in 2019, and it is expected to nearly double to $209 billion by 2025. This is a low-ball estimate. The scale of the robotics market is likely to expand as enabling technologies mature and robotics becomes more widely used in emerging nations. In reality, Saudi Arabia gave citizenship to a robot named Sophia in October 2017.
In addition, India has a number of financial disincentives built in. Any firm importing robots into India is now subject to a charge of around 26.85% (7.5 percent basic customs duty plus 18 percent GST). This is a significant barrier to robot adoption. This is exacerbated by the scarcity of essential human resources. According to the FICCI-TSMG Advanced Manufacturing Survey 2016, India's capacity to conduct cutting-edge R&D is hampered by a shortage of quality human resources with the requisite skills and experience to work with advanced manufacturing technology. In order to develop the sector, there must also be a substantial shift in mentality. Despite the government's recent focus on robotics, the fear that robots would eliminate employment is inhibiting enthusiastic acceptance of the technology and commercial growth.
To attain global leadership in robots, India must swiftly harness its legislative and regulatory instruments. Fortunately, India has a robust IT infrastructure that can help drive the robotics industry forward. India must take use of its strengths in order to become a net exporter of robots in the near future.