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This security robot promises premium service at a lower cost

This security robot promises premium service at a lower cost
The Indian robotics startup H-Bot's security robots aim to provide access to more customers at a lower cost and better design.
There are several concerns about security robots, but many debates around them are limited to functions, features, and practicality. What often goes unmentioned is that price is a bigger decisive factor for customers when considering robots that can augment or replace human guards. If the cost of investing in security robots is higher than maintaining human guards, what’s the point?

This has been a significant point of focus for a Hyderabad, India-based robotic startup working on policing robots, disinfection robots, social robots, and security surveillance robots. Speaking to recently, Kisshhan Psv, Founder and CEO of H-Bots, explained that they aim to make their robots accessible to more customers.

Monitoring in workspaces

The robot works on the self-autonomous navigation system, leveraging technologies like LiDAR, simultaneous localization, and mapping. These help the robot to create a comprehensive picture of the local environment where it has to function. These technologies also help the robot identify its path, obstacles from which it has to move away and help operators identify where the robot is. The company manufactures all its robots to operate with the Robotic Operating System (ROS).

“Our security robots are designed for gated communities, industries, etc.,” Psv said. “They will move around  designated areas throughout the day and night to collect or capture data, which will help managements to identify if there are any intruders, or in the case of industries, if the employees are doing their job properly.”

Specifically for workplaces like manufacturing industries, H-Bot’s security robot has yet another function. With a facial recognition feature, it can monitor the attendance of employees. The facial recognition feature works using AI that is built into the robot. If it detects someone who is not recognizable, the operators are alerted immediately. The cameras used in these robots are Intel Real Sense, while the motherboards are from NVIDIA.

What customers may find attractive

There are several manufacturers, mostly startups, working on security robots. Many of these autonomous machines are already deployed in places like malls to assist existing security infrastructure. But making a solution that stands out from the rest in the market is a challenge.
“Our biggest USP is the cost,” Psv continued. “Compared to other robots worldwide, all our models are the most economical. Our disinfection robot, for instance, costs about Rs. 350,000 (Approx. US$4770). This has been our major motto to provide it to the customers at the lowest possible cost.”

Another advantage of H-Bot, according to Psv, is that the robot is almost entirely manufactured in-house. Except for parts like motherboard and cameras, everything including the AI, outer body, electrical parts are all manufactured at the company’s unit in Hyderabad.

The global market potential for an Indian robotic company

Psv believes that, right now, there is a strong demand for Indian robotic companies in regions like Europe and the UAE. However, in the past, there have been certain concerns about the quality of Indian manufacturing.

“Unfortunately, probably due to some issues in the past, many people do not trust Indian-made products,” Psv said. “This is an issue we often face. We have had situations where contracts were almost finalized, but the customer decided to back out because it is made completely in India.”

But after COVID-19 and recent concerns on certain Chinese brands, they see yet another change in attitude. Psv said that now there is more interest in Indian products as people look beyond China for a manufacturing partner. He predicts that any robotic startup from India looking to expand abroad would have a high success rate in the next one or two years.
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