Meet Alton, the robot who has a request for FM ahead of Budget

Thiruvananthapuram (IANS) Inker Robotics, a leading robotics company in India, has developed an indigenously developed humanoid robot named Alton, which has forwarded a request to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ahead of the Union Budget.

Developed at Inker’s R&D centre, Alton is a modular training robot designed to enable an experiential learning experience in the field of robotics.

In an interaction with Rahul P. Balachandran, CEO of Inker Robotics, Alton has shared his views and expectations for the upcoming Budget.

According to Alton, “Globally, automation is currently a $168 billion industry with an immense growth opportunity. As we move along this path, the nature of the jobs and the skills required will be different from the current position. With progress also comes the need to innovate, reskill and upskill. Now is the time to drive adequate skilling initiatives and designing the strategic education roadmap with the help of academia and industry leaders in the field.

“To meet India’s vision of a $5 trillion economy, incentivisation of educational roadmap development along with the participation of industries is required. Besides, incentivisation of relevant sectors to adopt the industry 4.0 technologies should be provided to accelerate the demand for robotics and automation.

“The expectation from the Finance Ministry in the Union Budget on February 1 is to support the automation players in diving deeper into this mission, empower the student community to drive India’s automation future and help the stakeholders across industries to drive this vision.”

Balachandran, as an industry specialist in the field of machines and robots, foresees to open a whole new dimension of practical knowledge for the industry stakeholders about the opportunities that lie with automation-based hands-on experience with their hi-end robotics equipment.

Sharing his expectations from the Budget, Balachandran said, “India has been projected as the only economy that will grow in double-digit, i.e., at 11.5 per cent in 2021. As we have seen, the challenging 2020-21 has made us realise the importance of adapting and adopting the latest technologies to drive the economy forward. To enable us to be future-ready, it is important to expand the policies and programmes as National Programme on Artificial Intelligence.

“There should be more focus in the Budget on various constituents of industry 4.0 like robotics and automation, digital manufacturing and AI, among others. India is lagging behind many of its global peers when it comes to both innovations in the areas as well as their adoption across sectors.”

The need of the hour is well-thought-out policy formulation to support and nurture the unified support systems and comprehensive eco system that will bring together stakeholders across academia, research and development and industries, he said.

This will also accelerate the translation of investment and innovation into value generation and impact creation, Balachandran added.

“The expectation from the Finance Ministry during the Budget announcement is to support the various stakeholders who are driving the mission – ‘Futuristic technologies to enable the Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ – by framing favourable policies, providing grants and making strategic investments,” Balachandran said.

Alton is a one-of-its kind educational companion for the students. Every single aspect of this robot is designed and developed in a way that it makes learning robotics fun. With the countless number of hours researching, Alton is made as an educational robot which is engaging and interesting for students having great features unmatched by any other similar product, Inker Robotics said in a statement.

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