A Ranchi-based start-up is trying to make life easier for budding technocrats pursuing electronics and communication engineering.
Automaton Robotics and Automation Private Limited — a start-up floated by Pulkit Jain, Shubham Sagar Sahu and Kailash Pati Dutta in 2018 — has planned to help budding techies unable to complete their projects in the absence of hybrid CNC (computer numerical control) machines.
Pulkit and Shubham have completed their BTech in electronics and communication engineering from Cambridge Institute of Technology in Ranchi last year and Kailash is a professor at the same college. The start-up received a funding of Rs 8 lakh under the Jharkhand Startup Policy in October last year.
“We came up with the idea of the start-up after facing problems in completing our projects as we did not have access to 3D printers and CNC machines that could be used to make good quality working prototypes and projects for competitions,” Pulkit, 23, said.
“We approached Dutta sir and thought of developing hybrid machines that could do both 3D printing and CNC machining. There are few companies in the country who make such machines that cost over Rs 6 lakh. But we will provide them to institutes at half the cost (Rs 3 lakh) through an interesting revenue-sharing model,” he added.
The tech graduate said there were more than 6,000 engineering colleges in the country, but most of them lacked access to key machinery for making high quality prototypes.
“Therefore, students have to take recourse to jugaad. It is also not financially feasible for an engineering college to run a full-blown fabrication laboratory. In our revenue sharing-model we will be providing the hybrid CNC machines at lower prices and the students will act as interns and work on the machines. The money earned from the intership will come to us as profit,” Pulkit explained.
The start-up is currently operating from the incubation centre of Atal Bihari Vajpayee Innovation Lab in Kanke and is working on the first machine for Cambridge Institute of Technology.
“We are using the funding provided by state government to refine our original prototype and make it commercially viable,” Pulkit said.
In 2018, the start-up received the most innovative business idea from the US Consulate in Calcutta during the Y4B (youth for business) bootcamp hosted by Nexus Incubator.
The start-up also received Rs 7 lakh after being selected under Nidhi-Prayas programme through KIIT Technology Business Incubator in 2018.
“We used the money to develop a more advanced five-axis version of the machine and have applied for patents for some of the components,” Pulkit added.