VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam does not lack ideas for robots. However, inventors always have to travel a long distance to turn the ideas into realistic. They are compared as excellent, but poor students, who do not have money to develop their ideas.
Inventors lack everything to invent
A technology trade fair has just been organized by the HCM City University of Technology, which gathered a lot of machines and equipments invented by the lecturers and the students of the school.
Though this is only a trade fair at the university level, it regularly attracts the attention of the public. The robot which cleans pipelines and mobile welding robot, invented by the lecturers and students of the school have been brought into life.
Prior to that, filming robot and virtual five-axis milling machine had also been utilized in reality. These have been called the “important goals” scored by the lecturers and students of the leading technology university in Vietnam, if noting that very few ideas in Vietnam can be developed and commercialized to serve people’s lives.
Dr Nguyen Tan Tien from the HCM City University of Technology said that Robocon, the annual robot competition among university students, is just the “game,” while the robots presented at the competition cannot be utilized in reality. It is necessary to develop the ideas which can be utilized in reality.
When asked what inventors need to successfully develop ideas into realistic, Tien said there are two important factors, which are the dynamism and enthusiasm of students, and the practical knowledge of teachers. Of course, money also plays a very important role.
Commenting about the current situation of the robot industry, Nguyen Ba Thuan from the Lac Hong University said; “Vietnam has more than enough capacity to make robots, because Vietnam has good researchers.”
However, he said that the researchers still lack necessary conditions to turn their ideas into realistic, which explains why the inventions cannot be utilized.
The biggest problem, according to Thuan, is that there is not enough equipment to make products. “Vietnam now even has to import the equipments to make legs and hands of robots, let alone the programming. Therefore, in many cases, inventions remain just models,” Thuan said.
Dr Nguyen Huu Phuong from the HCM City University for Natural Sciences also said that the products just can exist in laboratories. If someone wants to develop the products, he needs more money and more efforts to improve the designs, technologies and the arts as well.
“New ideas should be born in an industrial environment and then implemented in accordance with an industrial process,” he said. Since there has not been the cooperation between researchers and industry producers, a lot of research projects worth 2-3 billion dong have never been commercialized.
What to do to bring robots into life?
Joining hands with businesses proves to be the only way for researchers to bring their inventions into life.
67 billion dong in 2010 and 77 billion dong in 2011 is the turnover brought by technology research and technology transfer to the HCM City University of Technology.
Tien believes that the demand for robots is very big, because automation is the only way for enterprises to increase their productivity.
Thuan thinks that Vietnamese robot industry should start from making simple and small products which can be utilized in life. For example, Vietnam has enough equipment to make robots to clean swimming ponds. In the long term, he said, it is necessary to have the enterprises which come forward and buy ideas, then place orders to make products in big quantity
Meanwhile, Phuong thinks that it will take a lot of time if scientists and Vietnamese companies want to build a robot industry from the beginning. It would be better if the State sets up reasonable policies to encourage foreign enterprises to make investment and cooperate with Vietnamese companies.