One of humanity's looming fears is robots. They are faster than us and are getting smarter every day, and could replace us any day. But what if their speed and efficiency can be harnessed to assist us and free us from manual, tedious labour? For example, what if they can be deployed to do heavy lifting in warehouses or move things about on a factory floor? A Bengaluru-based start-up is working on these solutions.
Founded by two Vellore Institute of Technology batchmates, Pranav Srinivasan and Tuhin Sharma, Accio Robotics manufactures autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for material handling. The duo's first company was Illumnify Technologies, started in 2019, to build assistive-technology solutions. The very next year, using a government grant from the Department of Science and Technology, they brought out a text-to-braille device and were to test the prototype in March 2020, when the pandemic struck and upset their plans. They had to quickly pivot their nascent business and they did it admirably well. Thankfully, even while they were working on the assistive device, they were providing technical consultation to companies on robotics to generate cash. So, when the crisis hit, they decided to respond smartly and focus on this money-making arm. In April 2020, they trademarked Accio Robotics under the parent company.
They don't focus on making products for one industry but on finding solutions that can be used across many. Take material handling, for instance, which is a process in both manufacturing and services industries that adds nothing to the product cost. In a hotel, carting a guest's luggage from the front desk to the room or, in a hospital, moving medicines from the pharmacy to various nurses's stations is crucial but this service cannot plump the bill up. Accio Robotics tries to automate such functions, towards saving cost and time. In services industry, they are seeing a growing demand for automation.
While AMR and its use are not new, they think there is a lot of untapped potential. 'If there are so many robotics companies in this space, why are more than 95% shop floors in India manual', asks Sharma.
Published on: March 7, 2021