Robotics: The new Frontier of Technology Entrepreneurship
Robotics that can take over everyday tasks or be smart enough to look and behave like a human android utilizing AI are still years away from reality. Exempting a few exceptions, robotics has a long way to go to progress into meaningful cyborgs that can either take over humans in a savage robotic war like Terminator or completely replace human jobs with thousands of times more productivity. However, if one really looks around, robots have indeed taken over in one way or the other. From the voice assistant in our phone, assembly line manufacturing, smarter kitchen applications and even predicative ads, robots are adapting and evolving.
More visually appealing forms of robots in humanoid forms will get a lot of attention and is already starting to power economies like South Korea and China. In India too, Entrepreneurs are staring to tap into the largely ignored market of robotics, for future use in defense, healthcare, education and private assistance. The industry remains largely untapped except the monopolies of a few who are also backed by foreign giants in most cases, which should inspire entrepreneurs to take a dive in the pool of options available. Despite the obvious scope of robotics and their expansion in India, very few technology firms are looking to expand in this industry. Robotics as a field requires a lot of technically skilled programs, designers, scientists and researchers, but the rewards are satisfying.
For entrepreneurs and businesses alike, the surest way to enter into unknown territories is to understand competitions. With that thought in mind, here are 7 Indian robotic startups to look for growth in the future:
Grey Orange Robotics
Backed by Tiger Global and Blume Ventures and based in Gurgaon and Singapore, Grey Orange builds smart robots which work in the warehousing and automation space. The startup aims to provide technology to make innovative products for efficient logistics and distribution.
Their flagship product is called the ‘Butler System’, a high-tech material-handling system that improves speed, accuracy, productivity and flexibility. The rapidly moving robots traverse and fetch racks of items to a packer across a warehouse floor. The racks are replaced back in their place by the robots once the packer removes the item and packs it for shipping,.
With their headquarters in Banglauru, this Lunar Rovers and space explorations startup made headlines for winning Google’s roughly 1 million US$ (roughly Rs. 6.6 crores) Milestone Prize in the lander category. They will attempt to land a lunar rover robot on the moon and send data and images back to Earth in 2017.
The multinational giant Bosch is just of the many customers of Sastra. This Kochi (South India) based startup aims to market and develop high-end robotics technologies for a wide range of applications collectively aimed at the welfare of humanity, including industrial, consumer and academic research purposes.
Its product line includes humanoid robot kits that can be used to form more than 20 different forms called Hovis and Genibo (a robot quadruped dog that can walk around on its own, recognize its owner with its own eyes, respond to spoken words and touch, play tricks and cuddle up to the owner, as if alive).
This is the perfect example of small scale food production houses utilizing modern robotics technology. Behold the world's first automated table top dosa making machine by Mukunda Foods, an Indian Angel Networks incubate with a research and development facility and a manufacturing unit both in Bengaluru. The Dosamatic is fully automatic dosa maker which makes a whole dosa in 60 seconds. Priced at Rs. 1.5 lakh, it may not be something you’d need at home but has great implications for a restaurant or catering facility which needs to prepare large amounts of food regularly.
A much known name in the field of robotics, Artificial Intelligence and control technologies, they also work on the whole value chain including requirement analysis, concept development, system integration and beyond. The goal is to produce effective robots for mass utility and they already have more than 15 patents under their belt. It’s a part of the US$150 million multi-dimensional Hi-Tech Group, a group of companies with over two decades of experience in the Indian and international markets.
They also develop robotic and automation solutions for the factory floor, and the defense department helps keep troops safer by working on unmanned delivery systems.
Ahmedabad (West India) based, Gridbots works in the fields of nuclear space and industrial robotics. The robots they design and develop can be used for inspection, welding and cutting operations in difficult to reach spaces. The collective aim is to reduce human dependence by increasing productivity and efficiency.
Finally an Indian startup that has created what it claims to be “the world’s simplest telepresence robot” which hooks up a tablet, and using internet can help them move around and make HD calls. The video calling acts like a face and you can remotely control the movement of the robot – experience video conferencing like never before. It has huge potential for acting like a real person would converse.
Aside from defense, aeronautical exploration and factory production, robotics also has a huge market for personal leisure and entertainment which remains to be explored by entrepreneurs who are risk taking and are adventurous.
What’re your favorite robotic technologies that you’d love to see in India? Let us know in the comments on our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India.