New Delhi: Storage standards were issued along with the national logistics Policy outlined in September that automation In warehouses by using Robotics Challenges at the expense of exorbitant price points.
The policy document states that adopting “robots as a service” is a good strategy to mitigate the cost impact and drive automation. Currently, a lot of warehouse automation involves adopting a whole chain of services such as conveyor belt, sorting machines, automated warehousing and retrieval system, which makes it a costly investment for small and medium warehouse operators.
In order to meet the automation needs of small and medium warehouses, startup Unbox Robotics Offers “Robots as a Service” with a focus on e-commerce, retail and logistics Companies with a flexible “plug and play” model.
“In a Robotics-as-a-Service or OPEX (operating expense) model, the customer does not have to pay a huge capital investment initially. They can take the system for a monthly fee,” said Pramod Gadge, co-founder and CEO of Unbox Robotics in an interaction with ET Infra.
Unbox Robotics was formed in May 2019 and specializes in vertical sorting and fusing of packages via robots powered by intelligence squadron. The company claims that its solutions improve employee productivity by three times and increase space usage in the storage area by two times.
Judge stated that the cost to a customer can range from a few thousand to a few crore depending on the size, region and warehouse requirements.
The need for such a flexible model has also increased as the pandemic has led to the proliferation of small and medium-sized warehouses catering to small needs due to the increase in e-commerce activities.
“The system is plug-and-play and modular. You can start with a 500-square-foot deployment, as well as in a 10,000-square-foot facility. So, it’s highly scalable. You can use three bots. You can use 30 bots,” Judge said. for automation opportunities for small and medium warehouses.
Judge explained that the company has conducted extensive product development after extensive research and development of prototypes in the past three years.
“..this year we are also certifying deployment systems in Europe and the United States. So a lot of research and development has gone into the company in the past few years,” said Judge.
While the cost of producing a single robot made by Unbox Robotics is around Rs few, Gadge explained that inflation and disruption caused by the pandemic, especially issues related to semiconductors, have driven up the cost.
“Because of inflation, a lot of costs have gone up and a lot of component prices or material prices have gone up. That of course affected our prices and the cost of manufacturing.
Despite the cost pressures, the company’s current production rate is 300-500 robots per month at their assembly unit in Pune and there are plans to ramp it up in the coming months.
Expansion and financing
Unbox Robotics, a startup that’s just over three years old, is getting steady momentum.
“In the past three years, we have invested extensively in developing a market-ready product, and our systems have been successfully launched in three customer locations this year. We are building more of our sales pipelines and are in active discussions with more than 10 clients in India, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.”
Since its inception in 2019, Unbox Robotics has managed to raise more than $9 million in funding, from venture capital firms located in India and abroad.
“Right now, we’re not actively working in the market, looking at financing, but we’re getting a lot of internal interest from VCs (venture capital) or from companies. So, we’re evaluating certain options.”
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