Share it

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Grey Orange Robotics – Leaders in Warehouse Automation

Established in 2009 and co-founded by BITS Pilani alums Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta, Grey Orange Robotics develops and deploys leading-edge products and services in robotics and warehouse automation business. In a giant leap, Grey Orange Robotics has developed a warehouse management system that not only skips several generations of research, but also places it on par with two other companies in the world that offer similar products.

It is a first -of-its-kind venture for the Indian logistics industry. It builds robots that can move shelves stacked with various products to a floor assistant who then scans a bar code to confirm the right items. The robot in turn moves the chosen products to the shipping bay where workers seal the packages for final transport.

Grey Orange Robotics has raised Rs 3 crore from consortium of "There is no player in the Indian marketplace offering a similar solution today," says Sanjay Nath, managing partner at Blume Ventures. investors led by Blume along with other investors - BITS Spark Angels and the Hatch Group in January. As part of the investment, Sanjay Nath of Blume Ventures will join the board of directors, while Abhinav Khushraj will be a board observer representing the BITS Spark Angels group.

BITS Spark is an initiative launched by the institute and alumni of BITS Pilani, with the aim of building an entrepreneur ecosystem for BITSians. Spark Angels is an angel network comprising of BITSian angels (distinguished alumni and entrepreneurs) and select non-BITSians partners. It targets to invest from R25 lakhs to R2.5 Cr at seed stage in high potential BITSian start-ups based in India.

Recently, the company developed a new technology - 'Butler System' which aims to automate the warehouse operation by using a fleet of mobile robotic drive units (Butlers) to speed up and streamline work quickly and efficiently. The robots, which look like cubes and are called Butlers, help a worker pick 500 items per hour compared to 40 items in the normal course. GOR Butlers are squat contraptions of fast-moving mobile robots, which scurry around the warehouse and manage everything. Grey Orange Butler System has three components: small, wheeled retrieval robots, tall upright racks and human workers.

This also helps retailers' ship products in one hour instead of two days. In India, warehouses are plagued with many problems due to increasing inventory, labour theft, wrong shipments and wastage of time in searching and fetching goods. It is estimated that 90% of the time is wasted in searching and fetching the items. Centralized warehouse operation is preferred but the labour is unable to support high volumes.
Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta 

“We have a demo warehouse in Gurgaon where we have tested the product. Currently we are looking for pilot customers which can help us in ‘live testing’ of the butler system for 2-3 months so that we can commercially launch it too,” said Kohli, co-founder and CEO of Grey Orange.

Kohli said Grey Orange would confine its services to Indian companies for now. The other product package sortation system, which helps in sorting of ready-to-be-shipped packages, already has customers like Flipkart and Flipkart logistics, Kohli shared.

"We were missing product development," says Gupta. Meanwhile, AcYut, the robot they had built in college, was competing at international robot Kung Fu and football matches. It won one gold, two silver and one bronze medal at the RoboGames (previously ROBOlympics) held in the US in 2010. At the event, Kohli and Gupta met a series of mentors and investors who advised them to spin their business into industrial robotics.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Now check your blood sugar in 10 seconds, for just Rs. 2

Diabetes patients monitoring glucose levels regularly will attest to the fact that testing strips — expensive and sometimes hard to get — are a downside. By the yearend, the sugar test could cost just Rs 2, take about 10 seconds and draw far less blood than the regular glucose meter.
Developed by Dr Suman Kapur, professor of biological sciences at BITS-Pilani, the new cellphone-sized blood sugar machine uses a capillary (narrow pipe) worth Rs 2 through which the blood is transmitted to the reading device. It will require 1,000 times less blood than a standard glucometer.

The device will undergo final evaluation by July 15 and is expected to be ready for mass production by December.
This low–cost rapid test will be a boon for India which plans to test five crore people for diabetes by the end of this year. India plans to screen all adult males above 30 years of age and pregnant women of all age groups for diabetes and hypertension in 100 districts across 21 states.

Now, India is home to over 61 million diabetics — an increase from 50.8 million last year. By 2030, India’s diabetes burden is expected to cross the 100 million mark. The country is also the largest contributor to regional mortality with 983,000 deaths attributable to the disease last year.

Dr. Suman Kapur said, Our device is as handy as a glucometer but with a different Chemistry. The major aim was to make a pocket sized, affordable glucose monitoring device. Diabetics are required to test their blood often, each time costing around Rs. 25. Our test will bring the cost down to Rs. 2. Also we will require just 1 or 2 picolitre of blood that means less than 1000 times blood comparing to standard glucometer.

Dr. Suman Kapur also explained the working of Machine. Once the finger pricked with a needle, red blood cells from the blood will be trapped and plasma will be allowed to pass, just like OSMOSIS, a process of chemistry. The machine will react at this moment and will give a color corresponding to glucose level.

We are using nano particles to intensify the colour using a colour to frequency censor. Then, the reading will show up on the device. The major advancement will be on the sensitivity," added Dr Kapoor, who is also dean of research at BITS-Pilani.

He said the test has been successfully tried with human samples. "We are working on the reading device which will be the size of a cellphone. Instead of strips that glucometres use now, our machine will use a capillary (small hollow pie) which will cost Rs 2 every time a diabetic tests h/his blood," he added.

A health ministry official said, "The best way to detect abnormal BP and high blood sugar levels is to conduct mass screening. This will give us a clear picture of the prevalence of diabetes in the population. "Sources said when ICMR negotiated with companies for a million diabetes strips, and the lowest quote it received was Rs 13 per strip.” If this comes down to less than Rs 2, it will be a massive breakthrough," the official added.