Understanding the Scope: Robotics in India

In a riveting conversation, Dr Amit Bhingurde, CEO, BRAL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors Limited, speaks to Subhajit Roy on the need for a ‘robolution’ in India…


Could you tell me in-brief about yourself, the company and your work within the automation and the robotics sector in India?
I head Brabo Robotics and Automation Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors Limited. We began our robotics and our automotive journey in the year 2017 and we launched our first industrial robot Brabo. After the launch, the results were quite good. There is a lot of encouragement from the MSME sector as well as from the OEM sector in different parts of the industry. The idea was also to launch this particular robot to support MSME sectors and OEMs. We are the first Indian robot to manufacture in India and we have launched this robot for the MSME sector. Today, we have nearly 200 robots working around India and these robots are used across industries. The robot has been manufactured by a very young team; they are all around 30-years of age. We have a considerable amount of gender diversity of approximately 35 per cent -40 per cent being ladies working in different sections of the department.

Robotics is a field that is primarily monitored by multinational companies. How do you find the competition, and what are the strategies in place?
That is a very good question. About the present scenario, if you make a robot that, a lot of services can be given to the customers immediately and the cost of ownership is also low as compared to other brands. This is also one of the reasons why we thought we must create a ‘robolution,’ in India. We coined the word and we thought that the idea would be to create awareness in India for people who are not using robots presently. Today, if you look at India – robots are the need of the hour and this demand can be fulfilled by the Tata Group Company. We are present in Pune which is one of the automobile hubs in India.

What are the initial investments required in robots, and what are the kind of products that you have?
The initial investment is quite low. When we started with the stepper motor driven technology robot, now we are going for a servo motor-driven robot. The investment was initially low – around 10 crores and today that number is gradually increasing. We have now entered into the market with a 12kg and 20kg payload robot having servo driven motors – that gives good speed and accuracy. We also have a better reach for the robot than the previous one and this can be used in multiple applications.

Could you elaborate on the market demand for these robots?
Presently, the demand is low because of the recession in India. However, we do find that there is always a big upcoming demand. Since our robot is used in different parts of the industry, inclusive of FMCG, electronics, press jobs, machine jobs – the demand for robots will always be there. We find that going forward, the demand for robots will increase.

The automation, automobile sector is one of the major consumers for robotic solutions, and when that particular industry is not doing well, are you steering focus towards other industries?
Yes, FMCG and other industries are always required and there is continuous consumption. People who are educated are not interested in doing dull work, and this I why we feel that this could be an option for any industry to replace human beings with robots. A lot of other jobs can be created because you need people to create robots. Also, you require other engineering students including software, mechanical, mechatronic who can also be a part of the journey. Also, we have created an opportunity for university engineering students so that we can teach robotics in different colleges.

Leave a Reply