Integrating Technologies

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Every edition of Amalthea has a theme which directs the conclave, symposium, exhibition, events and all the remaining components of the summit towards its eventual goal of spreading prosperity through knowledge. The theme plays a vital part in providing both the team and the participants a particular emerging topic in the field of technology on which they can focus their efforts and energies. Thus, the theme acts as an illuminating torch for Amalthea.

This year Amalthea has come up with the theme ‘Integrating Technologies’ – a holistic theme that’s extremely relevant in the modern world. The central crux of this theme is simple and easily understandable.

Yet with a pronounced meaning for the future- the problems and challenges that humanity is going to face in the coming time cannot be solved by specialists or using approaches limited to a single domain among the STEM subjects, therefore technological advances and developments in the future require of us future engineers, scientists and technocrats to integrate and assimilate ideas and innovations from various disciplines to create a feasible solution for the challenges of tomorrow.

The theme shall manifest itself in all the components that Amalthea comprises of. The conclave shall feature captivating talks by eminent personalities from different spheres of knowledge aiming towards unifying models to solve unique problems. The exhibition shall feature impactful entrepreneurs demonstrating their work in that direction. The events will be the major center of attraction for all the participants as they showcase the talents of some of the finest young students who will emerge as the engineers, scientists and technocrats of tomorrow and will help in shaping the future. The symposium focuses on recent advances in the solar power sector which is poised to become a major source of clean energy in the future. As expected, it shall feature researchers from several disciplines such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, materials science etc. Overall, this year Amalthea looks forward to the future to come and wishes that on the back of its immense zeal in illuminating minds through knowledge and through the sea-deep pool of talent in India and elsewhere the goals of improved living conditions and sustainable development in the future see the light of the day.

In the 1950’s and 60’s, the futurists and optimists predicted that by 2000’s our lives would have become so high-tech that flying cars and airborne robots would be a part of our everyday lives. Today, our world is dominated by live streaming, smartphones, and digital advancements. Though those forecasters got the timing wrong, they, however, got the technology right! From intelligent robots and self-driving cars to gene editing and 3D printing, dramatic technological changes are happening at lightning speed all around us. And flying cars and airborne robots and not far away in time!

The interesting thing is that these innovations are crossing and blurring industrial boundaries-converging digital, physical and biological spheres- to come up with innovative solutions, ideas, and products which will revamp our lives. Today, we stand at the brink of another Technological Revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be something that humankind has never experienced before. This revolution is driven by the idea of integrating the existing technologies to create “Hybrid Technologies”.

Integration of technologies is a non-linear, complementary and cooperative process. It involves the combination and transformation of technical improvements from previously separate fields of core technologies to create products that will revolutionize the world. When one technology is blended with another, we obtain a solution which is greater than the sum of its parts – in technology integration, ”One plus one equals three!”. Technologies are combined rather than being replaced. The old maxim “One Technology-One Industry” no longer applies and fits the current scenario.

The First Industrial Revolution used the power of steam to mechanize production. The Second made mass production easy by utilizing electric power. The Third brought digital revolution. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third. It is triggered by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. Technological transformations happening today are not a mere extension of the Third Industrial Revolution but mark the beginning of the Fourth in terms of its velocity, reach and the impact. This is evolving at an exponential pace and the speed at which new innovations and breakthroughs are happening is unprecedented. It has engulfed almost every industry in every country.

Micro and Nano manufacturing sector is believed to have the greatest growth potential in the automotive, biotech and surgical industries. The merging of Optics and Electronics created Optoelectronics-which has been a critical development in the communication sector. Similarly fusing Mechanical and Electronics gave birth to the Mechatronics revolution thus transforming the machine and tool industry. Mechatronics has become a major locus of innovation, particularly in engine, transmission and braking systems.

The fields that are escalating exponentially due to this integration and have a great demand and role to play in the near future include-Digital Health, Digitization of Matter, Wearable Technology, Gene Editing(eg CRISPR Cas-9), Regenerative Bio tools and medicines, Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence etc –the list goes on!

It is believed and forecasted that this amalgamation of technologies will integrate our lives and escalate it to such an extent that it will transform the way we work, relate to one another and even challenge our notion of what it means to be human. We still do not know how this fourth industrial revolution will unfold-but the response to it must be comprehensive and integrated so that it benefits mankind.