How Industries are embracing Automation amidst the COVID-19 crisis

JAYAKRISHNAN

Collaborative robots are one of the inevitable components of Industry 4.0. These robots not only interact with each other but also work safely alongside with human workers and get trained by them. “, says JayaKrishnan TIEEE Member and CEO of ASIMOV Robotics, in an exclusive interview with EnterpriseTalk.

ETBureau: How are more industries turning to automation in a big way during the pandemic?

Jayakrishnan T: As the pandemic COVID-19 has seriously affected almost all industries, it has become mandatory to maintain the new world order in every aspect of development, manufacturing and services.

However, as far as digitalization and automation is concerned, the coronavirus impact has accelerated the adoption of these technologies to reduce the dependence on human beings and thereby, increase the efficiency, along with the reduction of cost.

Personal hygiene, social behavior, environmental hygiene, quarantine, etc. have become household terms. As humans have withdrawn into their homes, technology is now coming to the forefront to support humans in performing mundane and repetitive tasks.

ETBureau: What is the Impact of Robotics across the healthcare industry?

Jayakrishnan T: Robots have been in use within the automotive industry since the 70s. The industrial sector was able to quickly adapt robotic solutions as the use cases were well defined, structured and pretty stable in terms of workflow, processes and sequences of operations.

However, with the market demands, there are frequent changes in design and technologies used. Because of that reason, the present-day automotive industry needs to be able to accommodate these changes.

The fourth industrial revolution is the answer to this. It enables the connected manufacturing environment where machines, inventory, tools, jobs, logistics, latest market requirements, etc. are talking to each other through a network and make necessary decisions to enhance quality and productivity. It is also possible to perform preventive maintenance as the failures can be predicted well in advance.

Collaborative robots are one of the inevitable components of Industry 4.0. These robots not only interact with each other but also work safely alongside with human workers and get trained by them.

Robotic Surgery and Healthcare Automation 

Similar to the precision manufacturing sector, the healthcare industry faces major challenges such as a high probability of human errors, tedious processes & systems, lack of skilled professionals, long shifts, and more time being dedicated to administrative work. All these add to fatigue and stress in healthcare professionals and dilutes the time of patient care. However, with technological advances, there is scope for systems to be automated and streamlined to support healthcare professionals.

Robotic surgery is one of the fastest-growing and highly promising applications of technology into medicine. Robotization allows the surgeons to perform highly complicated procedures with ease due to the increased dexterity coupled with advanced HD 3D vision and precise maneuverability. The system provides fully-fledged real-time connectivity of the surgeon and the area under surgery in terms of Visual, Auditory, Tactile and Haptic means.

Medical Logistics

As the number of patients under critical care increases, medical logistics are increasingly becoming important both inside the hospital as well as over long distances. There is a constant need of a supply of medicine and other clinical consumables for patients under critical care. It is also important to minimize the human movement between level-3 and above ICUs and other areas.

Read More: IoT Healthcare Market to Touch $188.2 Billion by 2025

Remote villages and regions without proper transport infrastructure are prone to more health casualties due to a lack of medical supplies. While in-house logistics can be addressed by autonomous mobile platforms (AMR), medical drones provide real-time delivery of medical supplies. They have other applications, such as supplying daily essentials & emergency medicines to patients without logistical constraints.

Predictive diagnosis using AI and ML

It is often seen that the mortality rate of patients with critical illness depends on the right treatment at the right time. With the current advancement in AI-ML, it is now possible to identify the onset of problems much earlier so that physicians/surgeons get enough time to act upon them.

This not only saves the life of the patients but also improves the quality of the treatment, prevents the damage of organs and their functionalities as otherwise in the case of delayed diagnosis. Hence, it also reduces the cost of the treatment.

The system primarily relies on the electronic health data, which is collected from the patient through various means as well as the data which had been collected from other patients with similar ailments in the past.

There are many medical conditions like stroke, sepsis, heart failure, and Osteoarthritis that can be predicted from 24 hours to years in advance. This also helps us make the expertise to be scaled-up to be useful anywhere as it is required.

ETBureau: Is the resources market adequately ready to handle this surge in RPA adoption?

Jayakrishnan T: The latest trend in robotics does not limit the revolution to physical robots. It also automates hundreds of administrative processes to be done by computers, which were being done by humans. Since the outcome is well-structured digital information, it can further be used to improve the performance of automation.

Though there are many providers and solutions already in the RPA industry, eventually, the continuous use and self-learning capabilities of these software robots are going to be the differentiators in optimizing the performance. The secondary information and predictions, thus generated in advance, will help to improve businesses in terms of quantity, quality, and business strategy.

ETBureau: What are the latest and future trends in Robotics?

Jayakrishnan T: Robotics is all set to transform the world by the introduction of the digital workforce in combining the major game-changers like Collaborative Robots, Big data analysis, IoT, high-speed internet, and Cloud Computing. These are in fact, the major building blocks for the upcoming industrial revolution 4.0, which will also pull out the robots from the manufacturing industry to day-to-day activities; from iron cages to alongside human beings; from repetitive tasks to intelligent jobs.

Read More: ‘Big Data’ and Healthcare – Leading the Change

Manufacturing, logistics, retail, hospitality, security, medical, and education as well as military and space, are the key sectors to experience this advancement in the first place. Collaborative service robotics will gain importance. More floors will be swept, more lawns mowed by robots. More patients will be served. A new consumer-level robot will be released.

Jayakrishnan T is an IEEE Member and the CEO of ASIMOV Robotics. He works extensively on emerging technologies like AI and Robotics.