Kerala-based Robotics firm launches automation programme to preserve puppetry

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Thrissur, Feb 12 (PTI) A Kerala-based Robotics firm has initiated a programme to preserve the 4,000-year-old dying art form of puppetry, using technology and automation.

Tholapavakoothu the Shadow Puppetry of Kerala, is played traditionally by 'Pulavar' accompanied with shadow light, sound, and songs.

Pulavar is the title given to a scholar and performer who has extensive knowledge of Tholapavakoothu.

The first live model of the automated process in puppetry was showcased at the District Heritage Museum in Palakkad on Thursday.

With zero compromise on the traditional art form, the automation technology is designed to seamlessly mimic the puppet movements, otherwise controlled by skilled hand movements.

The soul of puppetry is the skilled hand movements that control the puppets.

A typical performance usually has a group of 7 people managing the puppets in cohesion to produce the narrative.

Commenting on this initiative, Rahul P Balachandran, CEO, Inker Robotics, said 'The application of automation in trying to revive the art form from dying is one of the many examples that when innovatively used, the benefits of automation is transformational.' 'In the middle of a pandemic, a dedicated team of engineers at Inker Robotics have studied the delicate art form along with the Pulavars and worked passionately to bring to life this art form,'he said.

In modern times, educationists the world over have realised the potential of puppetry as a medium for communication and by bringing in such inclusion one can bring back the age old way of interactive communication effectively for children and thereby preserving the art form and making learning more interesting, he said.

'With the successful implementation of this project, we are confident that this will re-ignite the interest and revive the 4,000-year-old art form that was part of folklore and growing up years of millions of children in the country,' he added.

Headquartered at Thrissur, INKER is a 4,500 sqft Robotics Facility with 40+ industry professionals.PTI UD BN ADMINISTRATOR BN ADMINISTRATOR