Tag Archives: robotics

New York Times profiles Pune’s PARI Robotics

In an article that talks about how manufacturing companies have led to a surge of exports of sophisticated products out of India, the New York Times has picked Pune’s PARI Robotics as an example of companies that are leading the way in exporting high value products out of India (as opposed to our traditional export items like garments).

PARI Robotics is a company that sells automation products / services (i.e. industrial robots) to industry. They have robots for various different manufacturing applications, including automated welding, assembly, thermal cutting, automated storage and retrieval systems, surface coating, taking measurements, and a bunch of other uses. There a whole lot of interesting information on their website. Their customers include the who’s who of the automobile, home appliances, engineering goods and other manufacturing industries. Their success stories page also makes for interesting reading.

Here are some interesting excerpts about PARI from the New York Times article:

When Ranjit Date returned to India 20 years ago after earning a doctorate in robotics from an American university, he hoped to help automate factory assembly lines in his home country.

His company, Precision Automation and Robotics India, has done that. But more recently it has also begun selling robots to Western manufacturers like Caterpillar, Ford and Chrysler. This year, in fact, a third of Precision Automation’s sales will come from exports, up from almost nothing five years ago.

On how PARI got started:

Mr. Date started the business with a friend, Mangesh Kale, who, like him, grew up in Pune. After earning advanced degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., they returned to India in the early 1990s – just as policy makers were pushing through early economic changes.

At first many Indian manufacturers were unwilling to invest in robots, Mr. Date said, because labor in India was so cheap. But in the increasing global economy, Indian manufacturers had to improve productivity to meet rising demand and compete with foreign companies.

So, after all this, how are they doing now?

Mr. Date, the robotics entrepreneur, expects sales at his company to increase 20 percent this year, to $67 million. The company is building a second factory, a 150,000-square-foot plant on the outskirts of Pune, to keep up with demand for its robots and automated assembly lines. He said Precision Automation’s products were 10 to 50 percent less expensive than similar equipment made by Western suppliers.

Read full article

NIT & MIT beat VIT and IIT in Robocon India

Sorry, couldn’t resist that headline.

Robocon, India was conducted in MIT, Pune this weekend and Nirma Institute of Technology, Ahmedabad won the event with a team consisting of a “combination of students from mechanical, computers, electrical and other engineering streams”. MIT, Pune were the runners up. IIT Delhi and Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, Pune were the semi-finalists. It is pretty impressive that Pune had two teams in the top 4, considering that 38 teams from all over the country, including 5 IITs (K,B,M,D,G) had participated. The two finalists (NIT & MIT) will represent India in the International Robocon which is also being hosted by MIT, Pune this year from 29th August to 2nd September.

Since we are the hosts, the theme is also ours. The robots have to participate in a Dahi-Handi competition. Specifically:

Two (2) opposing teams a Red team and a Blue team will operate Manual machines and Autonomous machines and attempt to get at the pots of butter placed at a height and remove the large cube of Butter (Makhkhan) from the bowls.

A few of the machines would also attempt to “Steal” the Earthen Pots (Matkas) containing balls of Cheese (Paneer) being carried by the Young Girls (Gopis).

Points are earned when the Butter is removed from the Bowls placed at a height.

Points could also be earned when a Pot and/or Cheese is transferred to a Basket.

The team which picks up all the three butter cubes directly from the bowls and holds them in the air will be declared “GOVINDA” (the winner) and the game will be over.

If no team becomes “GOVINDA”, the team which accumulates more number of points within the specified time of three (3) minutes will be declared as the winner.

Samples of the Paneer, Makhkhan, and the Matkas have been sent to the participants in various countries. As far as I know, samples of Gopis have not been sent.

India has never won the International Robocon (actually International really means Asia and Oceania, and typically gets about 20 entries (which are in turn selected using local competitions in each country similar to Robocon India)). China won last year, and Vietnam has won it thrice in the 6 years that the competition has existed. Looks like winning will be tough this year too. For example, we selected our entries out of 38 teams, whereas Thailand selects out of 200 teams and Vietnam selects out of 300.

I first found the news here, and in ToI. Then did a bunch of digging on my own.