ruchika@nasscom.in

Robotics – From fiction to reality

Blog Post created by ruchika@nasscom.in on May 28, 2014

Terminator, Wall-E, R2D2, C3PO- Robots have always been a darling of the science fiction crowd, and seen as both a harbinger of an ideal world, and an evolutionary step for mankind. For long they have remained fantasy elements, but today robotics in India is more than just a buzz word. All across different segments- industrial, commercial or electronics; Indian providers are offering automation and robotics to different set of clients and clearly getting noticed for their uncommon inventions. The rapid pace of technological advancement along with innovative business solutions is a driving force behind adoption of Robotic technologies across a wide range of sectors such as automotive, FMCG, retail, textiles and manufacturing etc.

Robotics has the potential to revolutionize the industrial scenario. While it is very common in developed economies, many developing nations are yet to adopt robotics and automation in a big way. Considering this gap, there exists a lot of opportunity to tap market potential.

In Indian market, the adoption of robotics and automation is on rise, but still in its early stages. Indian industries are gradually realizing the importance of automation as the cost of skilled labour is rising, production processes are becoming more and more complex, and to keep demanding customers satisfied, the need for metronomic accuracy is increasingly important. These factors are forcing Indian manufacturers to consider robots as a viable option.

Indian start-ups are finally making their presence felt in this market. Growing proficiency of these young Start-ups towards offering innovative robotic technologies is catching up a great deal of attention.

Here are some examples of Indian Start-ups focused on robotics:

Grey Orange Robotics: The Company has built the robot "Butler", a mobile intelligent ground vehicle used for material handling that simultaneously improves speed, accuracy, productivity and flexibility. With its punchline "A smarter warehouse awaits you"; Butler has been able to catch attention of India's largest online retailers to automate their warehouses. Grey Orange Robotics, set up in 2009, is a first -of-its-kind venture for the Indian logistics industry. It builds robots that can move shelves stacked with various products to a floor assistant who then scans a bar code to confirm the right items. The robot in turn moves the chosen products to the shipping bay where workers seal the packages for final transport.

  • Robosoft Systems: Robosoft, a Mumbai-based company, is providing robots for duct-cleaning services since last four years. This cost effective combination of varied features, flexibility and ease of use, offers an excellent opportunity for professional duct cleaners or HVAC contractors to generate bigger profits. Started with industrial segment and then diversified into the education sector, the firm now plans to develop robots that can do sewage cleaning.
  • Gridbots:  Founded in 2007, Gridbots is a young technology company, combining technology, artificial intelligence and machine vision to produce robots which can be efficiently used as consumer products, industrial applications, surveillance systems etc. With more than 50 products and 10 patents to be filed for technological innovations, Gridbots has been growing both in terms of market share and technological capabilities day by day.
  • Borewell Robot: It is an indigenous robotic device developed by Madurai-based Mr. M Manigandan, who along with his team is involved in operations to save children who accidentally fall into borewells. This device is a two feet high simple iron framework weighing just five kg and has a hook on its top to enable its suspension through a rope deep into borewells. The device has a high resolution camera which can take pictures even in pitch dark conditions and arms which are detachable. It can lift weight upto 50 KGs.
  • Robots Alive: Founded in 2009, Robots Alive caters to a wide range of automation technologies for industry, education and consumer segments. The robots are built for industrial applications with special focus on improving productivity of SMEs.

The growing excitement of start-ups for this innovative technology is helping India to showcase its cost effective automation systems developed by home grown companies. It is a growing field and many avenues are yet to open up in the future. Once the demand will pick up, robotics is set to offer a huge set of opportunities across multiple industries. While I conclude this blog, I strongly believe that the future is robotics and automation!

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