India is a developing country where Robotics is still lagging because of the lack of availability of Robotics components, 3D printed parts and suitable quality motors. The science of Robotics requires a high-end technology to be implemented by researchers or Robotics scientists.
Despite all these, if a teacher (not a Robotics Scientist) can do something in the field and able to develop a prototype that is comparable with the Robots developed by big facilitated and resourceful companies with the help of their best engineers on a huge budget, then the person deserves the appreciation.
A computer science teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya, IIT Bombay, Dinesh Kunwar Patel has developed the world's first social and educational humanoid Robot 'Shalu' that can speak 47 languages, including 9 Indian and 38 foreign languages. The homemade Robot 'Shalu' is made of waste materials, including cardboard, wood, and aluminium.
Without financial or technical support, the inventor took three years to make this innovation. Inventor Dinesh Kunwar Patel, while talking to The Logical Indian, said, "Robot Shalu has been placed in Partishtha World Record book with the title as world's First Artificially Intelligent Social, and Educational Humanoid Robot made up of waste material. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has also recognised my efforts, Govt. of India, and I was awarded a certificate on 02nd December 2021."
Robot Shalu has been given first place in the top 10 humanoid robots of the world by Top Ten Magazine and is also identified as the most recognised Indian Robot in Global Tech Market by Analytics Insight Magazine. Robot' Shalu' was also awarded the "Most innovative use of Science and Technology" award by the Education Minister of India.
How This Idea Came To Life?
After seeing the Bollywood movie 'Robot', acted by Rajnikant as 'Chitti', Dinesh thought, is it possible to make such a robot behave like this reel-life Robot Chitti in real life? Then he saw Sophia Robot (developed by Hanson Robotics, a Hong-Kong-based Robotics Company) and decided to work in this field, but he faced many challenges such as how to start, from where he could purchase parts.
He decided that he would work on his dream with the readily available item in the local market and started to think about how it may be possible, what kind of item could be used for which purpose; after figuring out all the possibilities, he began his work. He said, "I was already inspired by the honorable prime minister of India's dream mission- Digital India, Skill India, and Make in India. This innovation is to set an example for self-reliant India.
Features Of 'Shalu'
The humanoid Robot comes equipped with numerous features such as Face recognition (remembering the person after the meeting), identifying multiple everyday objects (capable of identifying many things available around us such as a computer, laptop, TV, mobile, bottle, book), reading news and horoscope, and solving a math problem.
Interestingly, 'Shalu' also tells jokes and does standup on demand. She can also answer educational questions based on Physics, Chemistry, Math, History, Geography, GK, etc., which students usually ask during their study in the classroom.
Can It Be Used In Day-To-Day Activity?
Robot Shalu can be used in so many ways where the process of communication is required. She can be used along with the existing teachers to support the teaching-learning process in the classroom as a 'Robot Teacher.' Probably, as a subject teacher's companion to answer students' questions.
Dinesh says, "Where students must like to study with robots and will be motivated towards the study by seeing that robot is answering their question."
She is equipped with features to work as a receptionist at different places, including airports, schools, and offices, to answer the different queries based on the organisation, not only verbal but even through email. She is also capable of sending SMS. The innovation is inspiring and has gone viral among netizens for its features.
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