Technology Innovation Hub

Cobotics refers to collaboration between a human and a robot. Advances in sensing, computation and autonomy are enabling robots and autonomous systems to enter real world domains such as manufacturing, defence, medical, agriculture, etc. where machines must work alongside and interact with humans. We are entering an era of “manned + unmanned” teaming where humans and robotic systems must work together towards common goals. Intelligent robotic teammates, have the potential to expand human capabilities, reduce risk of harm, increase safety, productivity and ultimately the quality of life for our people. The competency in Cobotics or Collaborative Robotic Cyber-Physical Systems is crucial for our country such that robotic systems enhance the capabilities of our workforce rather than trigger replacement. Internationally, a number of research programs have turned attention to this area. Hence, it is vital for India to create capacity and advance capabilities in this area. ...

The spectrum of activities to be carried out in the proposed hub is as follows.

The proposed hub will act as a research collaboration drawing faculty from multiple departments in the institute such as Mechanical Engineering, Applied Mechanics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Physics, Textile Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), and specialized centres like SENSE (Centre for Sensors, Instrumentation, Cyber-Physical System Engineering), CBME (Centre for Biomedical Engineering), Centre for Applied Research in Electronics (CARE), the Center of Excellence (CoE) on BIRD (Biologically Inspired Robots and Drones), and allied groups in the institute. Establishment of Cobotic-CPS Laboratory Ecosystem: The TIH program will lead to the establishment of modern laboratory facilities to support intra- and extra-mural research critical for carrying out high-end work. The facilities will be made available as a national resource centre in the area of Cobotics to all associated researchers who are either its collaborator or use the facility on payment basis.

● The hub proposes to establish new opportunities for B. Tech., M. Tech., MSc, MS(R), PDF, Ph. D students and scholars with the aim of creating future leaders in the area. Also, interfacing with the programmes like M. Sc in Cognitive Sciences by the Dept. of HSS is under discussion.
● Focal point of Knowledge/skills: The hub wants to grow towards a major focal point of some targeted technological capabilities like exoskeleton for soldier support and medical rehabilitation, algorithms for human-robot teaming in defence and industries, imaging and control algorithms for robot-assisted minimally invasive medical surgeries, etc. in the next couple of years.
● Interface with Industry and Agencies: One of the other mandates of the hub is to create an industrial and start-up ecosystem, where the hub can act as an accelerator for burgeoning deep tech startups in collaborative robotics fields. The hub will interface with national agencies like CSIR labs, industries like Wipro, Fourier Intelligence, etc., start-ups like Peer Robotics, Botlab Dynamics, etc. and international partners like Monash University, Laval University, etc. for idea exchange and joint research.

● Technical advances in scientific areas will be addressed by research activities organized in thrust areas culminating in new capabilities and evaluation (Year 1-3).
● Progress in multiple research thrusts will be collated and realized on robotic platforms leading to Embodied Capabilities (Years 4-5).
● The embodied capabilities would represent several sub-systems working together in laboratory-scale demonstrations and enable interface with agencies, industries, and other organizations for embarking on translational research and technology infusion (Years 5+).

Our team will address scientific challenges in thrust areas contributing towards capabilities embodied in realistic robotics research platforms. Our knowledge-sharing and translational strategy is continual and multi-fold.
● First, research will focus on foundational knowledge, models and systems that will fill key technical gaps in applications and scenarios derived from downstream application scenarios. Second, our development activities have arisen from close interaction with industry and national agencies. Finally, our engagement with partners will be continual. For example, we will organize scientific symposia to share the state of the art and envision research in scientific areas in collaboration with agencies and industries. This will assist partners in keeping abreast with the current technical progress in their area of relevance.
● We will share key outcomes from research under technical areas giving partners visibility into new emerging results and system prototype development. In the later part of the program, we will organize a capability/skill showcase demonstrating capabilities on research platforms bringing together research in multiple thrust areas. Such a showcase is intended to allow partners to conceptualize and initiate joint research, translational research, and technology infusions activities. The above highlights the catalytic role of the hub as providing a platform to build foundational capabilities drawn from multiple research strands; allowing multiple partners to absorb the know-how in domain-specific ways.
● In the long term, the generated know-how and competencies will contribute to key components for enabling eventual applications. Our guiding principle will be to improve the quality of life for the common people, to serve India’s strategic interests, and to enhance competitiveness of our industries/agencies. Next, we target application scenarios in the following domains: (i) Medical and assistive/rehabilitation, (ii) Defence and strategic national interest, (iii) Agriculture and disaster relief, and (iv) Factories and small enterprises.

    TIH-Targets List

S.No. Target Area Set Targets Achieved Targets
1st Yr 2nd Yr 3rd Yr 4th Yr 5th Yr Total 1st Yr 2nd Yr 3rd Yr 4th Yr 5th Yr Total
1

Technology Development

1.1 No of Technologies (IP, Licensing, Patents etc) 0 5 7 10 10 32 0 0 0 0 0 0
1.2 Technology Products 0 0 10 10 10 30 0 0 0 0 0 0
1.3 Publications, IPR and other Intellectual activities 10 20 20 20 20 90 15 0 0 0 0 15
1.4 Increase in CPS Research Base 21 21 21 21 21 105 35 0 0 0 0 35
2

Entrepreneurship Development

2.1 Technology Business Incubator (TBI) 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1
2.2 Start-ups & Spin-off companies 0 0 10 20 22 52 2 0 0 0 0 2
2.3 GCC - Grand Challenges & Competitions 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1
2.4 Promotion and Acceleration of Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneurs (PRAYAS) 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
2.5 CPS-Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR) 0 5 6 10 10 31 3 0 0 0 0 3
2.6 Dedicated Innovation Accelerator (DIAL) 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
2.7 CPS-Seed Support System (CPS- SSS) 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1
2.8 Job Creation 1025 1100 3000 3000 5000 13125 14 0 0 0 0 14
3

Human Resource Development

3.1 Graduate Fellowships 30 40 100 100 70 340 5 0 0 0 0 5
3.2 Post Graduate Fellowships 7 10 20 15 10 62 14 0 0 0 0 14
3.3 Doctoral Fellowships 5 5 5 5 5 25 5 0 0 0 0 5
3.4 Faculty Fellowships 0 1 2 2 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 0
3.5 Chair Professors 0 1 1 1 3 6 1 0 0 0 0 1
3.6 Skill Development 50 80 200 200 100 630 50
(51)
0 0 0 0 50
3.7 Postdoctoral Fellowships 0 5 10 5 5 25 3 0 0 0 0 3
4

International Collaboration

4.1 International Collaboration 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1152 1295 3412 3419 5287 14565 150 0 0 0 0 150
Total Set Targets 14565 Total Achieved Targets 150