‘Age no bar to foray into robotics’

SRMIST, The Hindu host career guidance webinars

The SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), in association with The Hindu, hosted two webinars yesterday, as part of the SRM Virtual Conclave for Career Guidance 2021.

The first, A Career in Robotics: Current Trends and Future Prospects, was moderated by Anand Venkateswaran. Opening the session, Prof. Sanjay Goel, Director, Institute of Engineering and Technology, JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur, pointed out that robotics is not just fun, but a necessity. “We have a larger population that needs a better quality of life at a cheaper rate. If we want to be globally competitive and relevant, we will have to adapt to this technology,” he said, adding that robotics is becoming relevant in fields such as Farming, Healthcare, and Education.

Sneha Priya, co-founder and CEO, SP Robotics Work spoke about her foray into the field and said that there was no age barrier for students to take the plunge. Children of 12 years can be taught a mix of the mechanical, electronic, and programming aspects. “We expose kids to Robotics, AI, virtual reality, and programming to not only help them master their field of interest but also choose it.”

One of the preferred ways of learning Robotics is through Mechatronics Engineering, which is an interdisciplinary and concurrent approach of designing systems, said R. Senthilnathan, Associate Professor, Department of Mechatronics Engineering, SRMIST. He advised students who wanted to study Robotics to look for institutes with laboratory infrastructure, faculty who are roboticists, interdisciplinary curriculum that emphasised lab practice, student-driven robotics club, participation in competitions, and entrepreneurship incubation facilities among others.

The second session on Challenges for Entrepreneurship in the New Normal, moderated by Yashasvini Rajeshwar, discussed upcoming trends and opportunities. Siddharth Chaturvedi, Executive VP, AISECT Group, emphasised the importance of teaching entrepreneurship in school, as it helps hone collaborative and public-speaking skills, collect and analyse date, use social media as an advocacy tool, and solve complex problems that don’t have a definitive answer. “Promote entrepreneurship culture in and around the campus by providing multiple platforms to budding entrepreneurs to improve upon their business models and be mentored by successful entrepreneurs,” he urged

Drawing from his own experiences, Hari Krishnan Nair, co-founder, Great Learning, stressed that this was the age of opportunity. “Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. There are no shortcuts and overnight successes. You cannot do it by yourself. Teams build great companies; not individuals. Apart from family, friends, look for existing support ecosystems such as technology cells, incubation centres, etc.”

Ananth Kumar, VP, SRM Innovation and Incubation Centre, emphasised that failure was an integral part of entrepreneurship. Despite the many stories of school dropouts making it big, he said that formal education was important. “Whether learning happens online or offline, it will help reduce assumptions about the field. Take systematic steps with well-defined processes. Be open to asking for help to address concerns,” he advised.

Both sessions ended with speakers taking questions from the audience. Those who missed the webinars can view them at https://bit.ly/2RxvimS and https://bit.ly/2SiROjn.

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