Karthikeyan Yuvaraj was felicitated as Passion Vista’s global leader of the highest order

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Passion Vista takes immense pride in showcasing the remarkable success stories of some of India’s most distinguished and influential leaders who have become a beacon of perseverance and outstanding zeal. Their exceptional qualities, unwavering dedication, superlative personal and far-reaching influence truly make them worlds apart. The eagerly awaited “Most Admired Global Indians 2023” issue embodies this spirit by presenting the inspiring journeys of these exceptional individuals who have received resounding acclaim worldwide. We are thrilled to share their stories of passion and achievement with you.

Awarded “2023 Scientist of the Year” from Canada’s International Achievements Research Center, Karthikeyan Yuvaraj is a ‘Roboticist,’ a term he’s made popular with his tremendous achievements in the field of robotics and AI (Artificial Intelligence).  A roboticist is a specialist who combines expertise in multiple engineering disciplines to design, build, program, and study robots, aiming to advance the field of robotics and create robots that can perform specific tasks autonomously or interactively with humans.

Addressing the concern that ‘robots will take our jobs,’ he tells us: “In reality, robots will help humans to have better jobs and work-life balance. Most of the labor force working in factories and delivery stations is on their feet for 10-12 hours, making repetitive motions like sorting and lifting heavy boxes, which takes a toll on a person’s body over time. The robotics systems I have developed in the logistics and supply chains can help take over these mind-numbing and repetitive jobs.”

Hard to believe, but Karthikeyan’s journey in robotics started in the small town of Neyveli (Tamil Nadu, India) through the encouragement of his parents. Greatly inspired by Sci-fi movies, he built a robot for his senior design project, the only one among Computer Science students to do so. “I realized that robots are a blend of programming, mechanical parts, and electronics. My Frankenstein moment was the first time my robot started to move its legs and crawl around!”

Karthikeyan was thrilled to realize that some of the sci-fi concepts (which inspired him in childhood) could be brought to life. His robotic journey began in earnest, and he soon participated in the Robotics Challenge (DRC) inspired by the Fukushima nuclear disaster while at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), USA. Some of the competitors were NASA, Boston Dynamics, and Lockheed Martin. Karthikeyan developed the vision system for the humanoid robot DRC Hubo, which enabled it to drive a vehicle, climb a ladder, manipulate a drill, etc.

“At DRC, the goal was to demonstrate how we can use robots to neutralize nuclear disasters instead of sending in humans, which can be hazardous and potentially fatal. This kind of explorative robotics technology can be used for verticals like deep sea exploration, fire fighting, planetary exploration (like the Mars rover), military, volcanology, and archaeology.”

Post-DRC, he joined Honeywell as a Roboticist in the special projects group. The focus was to build a robotic truck unloader. The vision system he developed enabled the robot to navigate autonomously inside the trailer, precisely locate and grasp the cargo, and place it on a moving conveyor. His innovation led to many granted patents in the US and worldwide. Due to the lack of innovation in the robotic truck unloading space, Karthikeyan’s inventions got hundreds of citations and inspired similar inventions from tech giants like Amazon and Google.

Karthikeyan published his first research papers in international robotics conferences and Springer’s highly reputed Intelligent Service Robotics journal. Since then, he has had several patents and publications in the field of robotics/AI, and his inventions have been featured in DailyMail, LA Times, and others. He also received various awards, such as – ‘The Golden Pinnacle Award for Professional of the Year’ by the Indian Achievers Forum and ‘The WCRC leader award’ for outstanding achievements in the field of robotics and AI.

Many top organizations have recognized Karthikeyan’s endeavors. He was awarded Senior Membership in the IEEE, a premium Engineering organization. Only 10% of IEEE’s more than 400,000 members hold this grade, which requires extensive experience and reflects professional maturity and documented achievements of significance. To know more about Karthikeyan, check www.passionvista.com or to nominate email, [email protected]

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Herald Port journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.