Setup Robotics Centre of Excellence in your college
Published on 26 Dec 2017. Written by Vasanth Vidyakar
“Lifelike 'Sophia' Robot Granted Citizenship to Saudi Arabia”
Yes, you read it correct!
Sophia, the robot, created by Hanson Robotics (HR) is capable of being highly mobile and expressive, displaying a range of emotions. And this is the first time that any country has provided citizenship for a robot – as BBC reported.
This is a historical moment I would say. With such kind of innovations happening around us, we should really think, ‘Are our engineers capable of delivering such technologies?’
If so, how many such engineers are there who can really contribute to the growth of Indian robotics industry?
We as the biggest nation producing engineers should not be proud just by the numbers but in the skill level of them.
Robotics is one of the latest technologies which cannot be learnt easily.
Proper nurturing should be provided to engineering students right from college level to make them acquainted with the robotics technology.
Setting up a robotics centre of excellence in colleges is a great way to address this issue. These installations will not only increase the engineering college’s standards but also help the students in learning robotics by developing great projects.
Why you should setup a robotics centre of excellence in your college?
While it is evident that colleges should develop necessary infrastructure (like setting up robotics lab or a centre of excellence) to stay ahead of their peers, you need to understand what other benefits that it will bring in. Here are few reasons why you should setup a robotics centre of excellence,
- To spread innovation across the campus: Innovation is something that cannot be triggered through text-books or exams. Innovation develops on individuals once their curiosity is tickled. And building robotics projects will surely help the engineering students to discover the innovator within them. This is also highly infectious, bringing in other students and helps greatly in spreading innovation across the campus.
- To create an engaging learning environment: We are in an era where old and traditional way of doing things is no more interesting. Even we are now bored to watch a 2D movie when you can actually live the movie in 3D/ IMAX experience. Similarly engineering students are also in need of a learning environment where they can develop skills in an exciting way. Setting up a robotics centre of excellence will provide such an engaging environment where students would love to come and experience a different way of learning.
- To build a great student community: With the advent of technologies, students of today spend more time on mobile phones and laptops browsing through non-live content and miss out the fun of collaborating & building relationship with others. Robotics centre will provide them a common ground which will enable a student to collaborate with others and have the fun of learning, creating a great student’s community within a campus.
How the students will be benefited?
- Exposure to latest robotics technologies: With the fast pacing technological advancements, it would really difficult for the engineering students to adapt to the latest technologies. Doing innovative robotics projects right from their college level will expose them to the latest technologies.
Learning by doing is the best way to get acquainted with any technology and robotics is no exception for it. More robotics projects the students build, the more knowledge they will gain on latest technologies.
- Get good hands-on experience building robots: As robots are used in real-time applications, learning just the concepts of robotics engineering will prove to be very inefficient. The best way for engineering students to learn robotics is to get their hands dirty and build robots hands-on.
Establishing such robotics centre of excellence in your college will allow all the students to work on robotics projects from basic to advanced level. They can get started by building some basic robotics projects hands-on and can continue their learning to advanced level with right resources and guidance provided to them at convenience.
- Develop managerial skills: Starting a robotics centre of excellence will not only allow engineering students to improve their technical knowledge but also assists greatly in grooming young leaders.
These kind of initiatives will achieve great heights if it is a student-led initiative, where students who would like to have an entrepreneurial or management career can come in and utilize the platform to learn & practice managerial skills.
- Improved projects/ entrepreneurship
- Improved internship selections
- Impoved placements
Important points to be considered while setting up a robotic centre of excellence:
- Establish a clear objective: Running a successful robotics centre of excellence for long term is not easy. A strong objective for such initiative should be established clearly at the very beginning. This will help all the students and teachers to work together with an objective and will avoid any discrepancies between them.
- Come up with an engaging schedule: Another challenging task is to make it comfortable for students and teachers to come in and collaborate without much thoughts about the academics. This can be achieved only when a proper schedule is drafted with least disturbance to the exams and academic curriculum.
Also having some competitions at the end of every semester will not allow students to lose focus and make them work on their projects all throughout the semester.
- Should be a student led initiative: This kind of innovative initiatives need a dedicated and energetic team who have the zeal to help their peers in gaining latest technical knowledge and spread innovation across the campus. Having a student team to lead the robotics centre will make it comfortable for other students to come in and build projects without much worries about their academics performance.
- Credibility of the company: For such innovative initiatives, you will be in need of assistance from some edu-tech companies for setting up the robotics centre and provide you the necessary materials. You should very careful in choosing the companies to partner, as you will not be needing just the materials but also right kind of support and guidance from them for a longer term. Collaborate with an edu-tech company who shares the same vision as you.
Collaborating with a bad company will not give you the desired results even after spending a lot of money and once the students undergo a bad experience, it will be difficult to make it right again.
How Skyfi Labs can help you in this?
Skyfi Labs has developed great solutions that can help in turning your robotics centre of excellence a great success. Skyfi Labs is an initiative of alumni from IIT Kanpur and has helped more than 120,000+ students from 17+ countries to learn and build Robots. They worked with more than 500 colleges, universities and schools and come with a great experience to provide you the right support and guidance in setting up the robotics centre of excellence.
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