RobotGuru: Welcome to an Indian Metaverse

RobotGuru is an unusual start up. Where most Indian start-ups essentially focus on consumer tech or fintech, RobotGuru aims to build an assembly line of all kinds of robots and at the same time seeks to teach robotics in an integrated manner by interweaving hardware and software and by using motion capture suits (HoloSuit) and virtual reality (VR). The idea is to create virtual 3D classrooms for Robotics/AI/VR/STEM learning by leveraging VR and the HoloSuit.

Can you imagine a robot, which can learn new things without any fresh coding? Such a robot could be programmed to pick up new skills just by sending special signals. Such a robot could actually be programmed to work as your digital twin. Merging of our physical world with the digital universe is poised to create a synthesis of the two, what has come to be known in recent times as metaverse. Metaverse presents limitless opportunities for the younger generation.

RobotGuru took off with one of the co-founder Harsha Kikkeri’s decision to come back to India. Harsha was working in robotics in the Silicon Valley but he always wanted to come back to his parents in Mysore and wanted to do something in India. But he knew that this journey would not be easy. He met the Indian Prime Minister during an exhibition in the USA and the Prime Minister invited him to work in India. Then Harsha decided to come back to Mysore and begin his start-up journey from a small town, which in itself a challenging affair.

RobotGuru’s journey to create metaverse started with HoloSuit. HoloSuit is actually a unique combination of software and hardware, which also uses advance motion sensors to create virtual 3D classrooms. These classrooms can be utilised to train anyone, including robots. In simple terms, Harsha and his team have created a module to train robots through sensors rather than codes. In this process, robot itself writes codes for it and then it can train the people in that classroom with the help of it’s inbuilt software. There are more than 40 motion sensors in HoloSuit to help in this process. This HoloSuit could be easily used in sports, education, security, entertainment and other sectors.

Harsha says, even before the word metaverse was coined, RobotGuru has been working towards creating such an amalgamation of the physical and the digital worlds. And in many ways, the experience of their HoloSuit actually goes beyond the ordinary VR experience through eyes and ears.

In the world of education, especially in STEM education, subjects like coding, robotics and machine learning are becoming more and more important. Harsha claims that with the aid of HoloSuit, anyone can now take classes from home or office. RobotGuru has already entered into agreement with more than 40 educational institutions in the country to impart education through HoloSuit. Recently, after they had arranged an interaction between robots and students in a college, more than 800 students enrolled for a course in robotics. They have also inked an agreement to provide training in robotics in 22 CBSE schools. Similarly, to work in skill development, they have signed agreement with NSDC and Media & Entertainment Skill Council.

To spread the use of HoloSuit in the world of cricket, the company has roped in former cricket star Yuvraj Singh. HoloSuit can digitise every body movement and then in the virtual world, thousands of users can follow those exact moves or participate in training.

Harsha is also very excited about the use of this technology in the defence sector. Recently, they have demonstrated their products to the Indian Army Chief, and he was also quite interested to interact with robots. According to Harsha, currently they are working on multiple important defence projects.

Future Plans

Harsha says with a lot of confidence that his company is working to establish the first education metaverse, defence metaverse and the first sports metaverse in India. They are also working to develop a humanoid robot within next few months. Such a humanoid robot requires advance technology and also employs 3D printing technology along with materials like titanium and carbon fibre. They will also be the first company to use robots to build robots. So far they have been building robots with a height of 3 or 5 foots – some of these robots are working in Ericsson too. They are now working to build7.5 ft high robots. These robots are expected to move, speak and share work just like humans.

Harsha is dreaming about setting up of an assembly line for robot manufacture in Mysore. Already, RobotGuru is exporting HoloSuit to 19 countries including Israel, South Korea, the UK and the USA. The company currently has five products and 12 patents in HoloSuit and in different areas of robotics. There is no doubt that this field holds exciting promise and RobotGuru in just five years, has traversed a long way.

Ajay M
Ajay M
Ajay M is a senior economic journalist with an experience of more than 15 years of reporting economic stories from around India.

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