Exactly 13 years ago, professor and entrepreneur Prahlad Vadakkepat engineered a few games of soccer that eventually led to the birth of a multi-million dollar industry in South Korea. This was soccer with a twist. The players were not humans, they were robots. The games in question were part of the first Federation of International Robosoccer Associations (FIRA) championship, which kicked off in Korea, in 1996. Vadakkepat, who was living there at the time, co-founded FIRA. That event helped robotics top the popularity charts and spawned many start-ups.
I’m hoping the 2010 robosoccer event in Bangalore will encourage entrepreneurs and manufacturing in the robotics space.—Prof Prahlad Vadakkepat, Co-Founder, Federation of Int’l Robosoccer Associations.