This entrepreneur is ready to manufacture her robots designed in Silicon Valley in Bangladesh

Rudmeela Nawsheen wants to pioneer robot manufacturing in Bangladesh and revolutionize agriculture with transparent blockchain-based supply chain

August 25, 2021, 10:15 a.m.

Last modification: Aug 25, 2021, 2:18 PM

Rudmeela Nawsheen wants to make robots in Bangladesh. Photo: Courtesy

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Rudmeela Nawsheen wants to make robots in Bangladesh. Photo: Courtesy

As industries become more capital intensive, automation is the next frontier for staying competitive in the global economy. Rudmeela Nawsheen, an American expat of Bangladeshi descent, has recognized this reality and wants to train young Bangladeshi talent and tech enthusiasts so that they can take charge in the future.

But that’s not all. She also wants to make robots in Bangladesh with local talents and create a welcoming ecosystem for technology and robotics enthusiasts. She wants to create a bridge for talents between Silicon Valley and Bangladesh.

“I want to bring together the best of both countries (US and Bangladesh) and build something that we can sell globally,” Rudmeela said proudly.

But who is she? And what is his plan to achieve it?

Rudmeela Nawsheen, originally from Bangladesh, received her A-Level from Scholastica and continued her studies in Electrical Engineering at San Jose State University in California, USA, followed by a Master of Science in digital and multimedia communication. She graduated with summa cum laude honors.

She founded her first company in 2016. It is an XR (Extended Reality) company which by definition focuses on augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality as well as animation and development of games. It’s called ConfigVR.

She later founded ConfigRbot, a robotics and AI company. ConfigVR and ConfigRbot are Silicon Valley-based start-ups that operate in both Bangladesh and the United States. She is the founder and CEO of both entities.

As of this writing, Rudmeela has launched six robots. Besides educational robots, it launched disinfectant robots, humanoid robots, robotic arms, etc. These robots have a wide range of applications ranging from home hygiene to industrial production and automation process.

At first glance, Rudmeela seemed to have an aura of optimism that is very difficult to find here.

As soon as the conversation started, Rudmeela took one of the educational robots – more commonly known as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) robots – off the table in front of her. These robots can be found on his ConfigRbot Facebook page.

“I want to encourage children in Bangladesh to take an interest in robotics, programming, machine learning and artificial intelligence from an early age. This is why we promote and sell these educational robots. and I received a great welcome from them as well, ”she explained.

“Unlike Bangladesh, we teach coding here from an early age, when the kids are in fifth or sixth grade. Bangladeshi children – with the exception of a few enthusiastic minds – are often not introduced to the world of coding and robotics until they are in college. “, added Rudmeela.

Currently, ConfigRbot manufactures its robots in China, India and Singapore. However, Rudmeela wants to start assembling these robots in Bangladesh soon.

“I want to move ConfigRbot’s assembly process entirely to Bangladesh. I plan to establish an assembly plant by December 2021,” she said.

But she also knows that Bangladesh does not have the necessary infrastructure to welcome or influence its young people to pursue a career in technology or to innovate something extraordinary. Original ideas often do not see the light of day. Rudmeela’s main goal is to house a hospital ecosystem that would welcome tech enthusiasts to Bangladesh.

“When I was in Dhaka, I felt like there were a lot of talented kids in Bangladesh. They were tech-savvy, broad-minded, and hard-working. experienced mentors, ”said Rudmeela.

Talent, we have it. Bangladeshi universities like Dhaka University, BRAC University, BUET and MIST have a history of commendable performance in world competitions like the “University Rover Challenge”. Their prototypes often amaze seasoned veterans in this field.

However, these prototypes, usually, never become full-fledged products due to lack of funding and most of this talent flies overseas and never comes back.

“This is where I come in. A lot of these kids have innovative ideas but can’t penetrate glass ceilings, most students don’t have the experience of hands-on lab work. I want to change that. .I want them to work with me on their prototypes and sell these products through my company, ”she said.

To encourage talent at the local level, Rudmeela has also launched a training center here in Bangladesh under ConfigRbot. The training centers offer basic courses in coding, machine learning, robotics, AI as well as Chinese and Japanese. On top of that, these courses are quite affordable and they currently train 45 students, from different parts of the country. They also provide counseling services to send students abroad.

“When we launch the factory, we will need a lot of skilled workers which we currently do not have in abundance in Bangladesh. So I look forward to hiring some of the talents we acquire in our training centers,” said said Rudmeela. .

“I want to make ConfigRbot robots in Bangladesh, sell them locally and globally. I want these robots to read ‘Made in Bangladesh’,” she added.

Rudmeela also wants to revolutionize agriculture in Bangladesh, especially in terms of the supply chain.

Bangladesh farmers have historically been exploited by market unions and profiteers when they could barely make ends meet. This transcendent cycle of disenfranchisement has lasted too long and escaped, thanks to the lack of transparency in the agricultural supply chain.

Rudmeela, together with his partner company, found a solution to this problem. She believes that using KrishokChain – a blockchain-based technology, tailor-made for farmers in Bangladesh, can end their eternal misery.

Most farmers who toil day and night don’t even know how their produce gets to our doors. Lack of training, education or awareness often leaves them vulnerable to the hands of market unions, extortionists and other forces that manipulate the market. As the government is a centralized authority, it is often very difficult for it to deal with these issues at the grassroots. This is where KrishokChain comes in.

KrishokChain is a transparent, decentralized, blockchain-based ledger that would record all transactions made across the country. This would allow farmers to be more aware of market conditions and prices charged in urban markets for their products.

“I recently attended a blockchain summit with decision makers from the government of Bangladesh where I offered KrishokChain as a solution for Bangladeshi farmers. By using krishokChain, end users will be able to know where their products are coming from. If you buy one. tomato, you would know which farmer produced that tomato and how much he received for it, ”Rudmeela said.

Another major problem that farmers face is an exclusive financial sector that does not include them in the process. Rudmilla also has a plan for this.

“We will be the first in the world to connect blockchain to SMS and IVR. Financial inclusion does not exclude people without data networks or literacy. Most solutions assume that people have the internet and smartphones.” , she said.

“We would like to collaborate with different NGOs, visit centers that integrate agricultural activities, create farmer units and train them. Then we will connect these units across the country so that farmers can communicate and trace every transaction in the supply chain.

But Rudmeela is also concerned about the poor quality of internet and electricity in rural pockets of Bangladesh. How does she intend to deal with these problems?

Rudmeela said she has plans for this and will come up with solutions on her next visit to Bangladesh.

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