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Artificial Intelligence & robotics can transform healthcare sector in collaboration with humans |

Robots have the potential to perform more efficiently in various fields including healthcare sector. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics can play a major role in bringing greater good for the humanity, as they can do things wonderfully, which include medical examinations like endoscopy, administration of drugs in a situation like Covid, conducting vital surgeries among others in collaboration with humans. Experts opined if there had been robust robots and the required technologies, situations such as the Covid pandemic could have been handled much more effectively and efficiently.

A three day workshop on Human Robot Interactions (HRI), commenced at Jhalwa campus on Thursday, organized by Centre of Intelligent Robotics (CIR), Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, is a great effort to popularize AI and robotics by bringing to the notice of the people their uses and importance. The workshop aims to provide comprehensive technical and scientific knowledge to the participants as well as give them hands-on training on technologies.

Inaugurating the workshop Dr. Alok Mishra, renowned Gastroenterologist said that practically applied robots have the potential of performing more efficiently and unmanned robots can collaboratively work with humans. During the first day of the workshop, enough focus was laid down on how advancements in technology and engineering have boosted especially the medical field.

Dr. Mishra’s presentation started with the history of endoscopy and how current endoscopy is performed, which was achieved through advancements in technology and engineering. He also stressed on the fact that the use of robots and artificial intelligence (AI) in real-life applications is at its infancy and have good scopes for development, stating that it will probably be a future of medical treatments.

In his address, Prof. G C Nandi, Head, CIR stated that had there been a robust robots and technology in general, situations such as the Covid pandemic could have been better handled. He also stressed that practically applied robots in environments such as large warehouses which have sizes of multiple football fields have potential performing more efficiently where unmanned robots can collaboratively work with humans.

Dr Sujit P B, IISER Bhopal, indicated that HRI is currently not well known in the Indian community as it is in some of the developed countries, but he also pointed out that there is growth in institutes or academia in Indian, stressing that CIR is a part of bringing about this awareness.

Dr. Satish Singh, Registrar, IIITA welcomed the dignitaries and attendees, stressing on the point that organizing workshops are intended towards engaging quality technical knowledge, which has been a vision of IIITA since its inception. Dr Rahul Kala, Asst. Prof. IIITA proposed a vote of thanks on the occasion.

The day started with an expert talk by Prakarsh Mishra and Natik Udeshi from AGNIi Mission, where they gave a talk on the AGNIi Mission: Engaging National Priorities through Emerging Tech. They introduced the vision of AGNIi Mission and how it functions. And the day ended with a brainstorm session and a hands-on session for the participants. The dignitaries brainstormed on how current research works in the field of HRI can be commercialized, focusing on environment such as warehouses where robots must collaboratively work alongside humans with high reliability.

The session was chaired by Prof. GC Nandi, head, CIR alongside Prof. SK Saha, IIT Delhi, Mr. Narender Gaur, IHFC; Prof. Anirban Guha, IIT Bombay amidst several other dignitaries. In the hands-on session, the robots and software used at CIR were demonstrated along with hands-on sample experiments based on the projects carried out at CIR. Robots including Baxter, Jackal, Kinova Arm, NaO, LocoBot, etc. were on demonstration alongside several machine learning and robotics demonstrations. The students had opportunities to have hands-on experience with the robots and the associated software.

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