THEIR robots may look cool, act smart and amuse kids with their intelligence. But when it comes to doing hard work, Indian robots are winning hands down.
India is fast emerging as a major hub for industrial robots. American, Korean and even Japanese firms are using these robots. Some companies are now going a step further and developing robots that can clean homes and keep an eye on intruders.
In about two weeks, Ahmedabad-based Grid Bots will launch Robograd — a robot that can clean homes and keep an eye on intruders, says the company’s co-founder and technical officer Pulkit Gaur. “Robograd will not have a torso. We believe that if robots are made to look like humans, consumers mistake them for toys and don’t take them seriously,” the 26-year-old adds. His robot, priced at Rs 10,000, would roll out across India. The company is hoping the robot will find an international market due to its price and utility.
But the bulk of India’s robots are industrial, and their demand is growing because companies across the world want to cut costs. Tranter, a US-based company, has replaced manpower with robots that it acquired from Precision Automation and Robotics India (PARI), one of India’s biggest robotics firms. The Rs 200-crore PARI’s robots now take care of the entire process — from pouring milk to boiling it and condensing it and finally placing it on the conveyer. “The company used to spend about five minutes on every unit. Now it spends only a minute. You can imagine the savings,” says PARI director, Mukund Kelkar.
PARI claims its industrial robots are used by companies like Caterpillar, Hitachi, Bosch, Emerson Power, American Ayle, Honeywell and by the Indian subsidiaries of firms like Samsung, Philips, LG, Suzuki, Renault, Ford, Honda and Hyundai because of their flexibility. “Like our robots at Tata Motors were installed for welding and pressing automation when Indica was launched, but came useful also during the production of Indica V2 and the Indigo,” says Mangesh Kale, who co-founded the company with Ranjit Date.