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Sunday, 8 February 2015

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Robotic technology, a promising area for development

Robotic technology is one of the thrust industries for which Sri Lanka has the potential and, therefore, a promising area for development, Prof. Rohan Munasinghe of the University of Moratuwa told a robotic workshop organised by SLASSCOM at Trace Expert City, Colombo last week.

Robotic technology is not a core technology area and it depends on all engineering fields such as electronic and electric.

Robotic engineering is emerging as a new thrust area with vast potential similar to nanotechnology, he said. Prof. Munasinghe said that in Sri Lanka robotic technology research have been going on for the past 10 years at different levels.

There has been a lot of research at university level and the University of Moratuwa annually holds robotic competitions. The industry and the university cooperates to conduct research for various industrial automation solutions. The new research area is aerial robotic technology and several research projects have been completed.

He outlined some of the successful inventions carried out by the University. Mine detecting robots have been developed with the ability to scan and identify the location and the type of mine.

This robot can undertake the risky tasks presently done by mine detectors. It can detect mines but it can't do demining.

In industrial robotic research there are successful innovations that are commercially used by industries such as rubber glove manufacturing.

Aerial robotics is a new research area that has been launched in the university. In research and development from 2012-2014 researchers at the University have developed a 7.5 kg small aircraft with an auto pilot system.

Prof. Munasinghe said that this invention can be used commercially in defence and disaster management. The university is willing to give the technology to responsible authorities. - GW

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