Tell us about Progwhiz Solutions
We started a few decades ago concentrating mostly on programming languages to create software that basically bridged applications and migrating from legacy systems to more flexible platforms.
How did this start and what is the story behind the name Progwhiz?
CS is my field and coding is something that takes a hold of software engineers, it gets in your blood. We consider ourselves to be whizzes at programming, nothing complex there.
How would you describe what a robot is to a layman?
It’s a machine that relieves a human of a monotonous task, a dangerous task so that the human can be retrained and redeployed to other areas where they are needed. It is also useful in tasks where absolute precision is needed.
Give some examples of how robotics with technology can be used in Trinidad?
Medical precision in operating theatres; servicing hard-to-reach areas; menial tasks; dangerous tasks; drones for legal surveillance and operational maintenance.
What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence and IoT as it relates to robotics?
Everything can be used for good or evil, it’s up to the user. AI can be very useful in trying to create a ‘thinking’ entity in order to anticipate trouble scenarios and cater for contingencies. We all want to create ‘smarter’ objects, machines and software, we’re always trying to automate things.
What do you say to someone who is concerned that robots will replace them in the workplace?
Accept it, suck it up and dust off the old resume, LOL! Seriously, sure some tasks will be taken away from the human but the human can be retrained, adapted to other tasks where resources are needed. In addition, human jobs will be created by the need to service the robots.
Tell us about your project with St. Anthonys College?
St. Anthony’s is a good school with much prowess in the field of athletics but it needs to shore up its academic side and if the cutting edge of science and technology was included, all the better. There needs to be a computer lab dedicated to senior students, made capable of respecting the space and where real thought can take place. The more highways you build, the more people will buy cars. The more labs you build, the more students will be encouraged to use them in the pursuit of CS knowledge. The Principal, Mr.Maurice Inniss is a professional educator who cares about the well being and future of his students. He has a keen sense of the role that Technological Innovation plays in our country’s future so we have an excellent partner whom we can work with who is visionary in the purest sense of the word.
What are some of the challenges you see facing the tech space in Trinidad?
Meagre to nil support from the state and private sector to help high-tech entrepreneurs who are trying to change things for the better. We’re still stuck in the old ways of hoping to find more oil and gas and the private sector is too concerned about using that foreign exchange for short term profits that fatten the bank accounts of CEOs and Directors but leave the majority of the population cash poor and hapless when the oil runs out or sells cheaply. We don’t innovate, export near enough or create our own competitive products or services. We will never be a developed nation until we satisfy those requirements. Take, for instance, the IDB funded Global Services Promotion Programme (GSPP), it’s a colossally misguided initiative that seems to be designed to cater to ONE category of entrepreneur while leaving all the other gems to sit right in the soil. It’s so designed to look out for corruption that it threw the baby out with the bath water. In the end, it’s one hundred and twenty million shot that will have a negligible effect on diversification and that’s a real shame. It’s so constrictive and frustrating that it’s a barrier to entrepreneurs and innovation. A TRUE diversification initiative should have as many categories of entrepreneur catered for, not just one. It’s an exercise in futility that just leaves taxpayers with a $120mil loan to pay back. The IDB has a lot to learn about technological innovation and the entrepreneurs behind them.
What websites would you recommend someone go to learn more about robotics?
There are numerous websites that retail Robotic products that are designed for executing certain functions for a specific purpose. These products have a finite scope and are not modular or scalable and definitely do not permit the creation of new products that are financially viable. The few websites that teach the fundamentals of Robotics, while important, are not feasible to create a Robotics solution due to the tedious design, manufacture and production. So what we are doing different is that we bring a holistic exposure to Robotics that brings the power and flexibility to enthusiasts’ and students’ fingertips without the ‘black box’ complexity that traditionally is aligned to the field of robotics.
Anything else you would like to add?
We applaud your recognition of our endeavor to be new and of value and we look forward to being the catalyst to triggering new innovative products and services that moves our economy away from total dependency on the petroleum industry wholly dependent depleting resource.
Website : progwhiz.com