Inventrom is a Robotics and Technology company based out of Goa. It was started in 2011 by Pranav Vernaker. Pranav says, “While we were in the final year of engineering, I and some of my colleagues started a Robotics company by name Accipion. We even conducted a few workshops, which generated capital for our product development projects. However the final product never materialized. Though it was a great experience and we learnt many lessons while starting up Inventrom.” The foundation of Inventrom was laid when Pranav was pursuing his MBA at Goa Institute of Management.
This team of 5 engineers and MBA’s is currently involved in designing its first industrial robot, The Minion Bot. This robot is an industrial helper that can carry various parts and objects from one point to another. It can also act as a virtual conveyer belt. This robot is very easy to control and give instructions via any computer or a smart phone. The Robot transmits its own WiFi to which one can connect his computer or phone. The Robot has an ARM 11 mini-controller, which does the major intelligent processing part. The robot has a Linux OS running on it. It also has an Apache server and MySQL for database management. In addition to ARM 11 it also has an AVR ATmega 128 micro controller, which takes care of motion control and sensor data input. One can record instructions to control the robot’s movement and then it can continue to mimic the same.
It also comes with powerful on board sensors which allow it to interact easily with external environment as well as monitor its performance. The obstacle detecting sensors help detect any objects or human coming in its path and accordingly maneuverer via the best possible path. It also has internal sensor like temperature sensors, position encoder to help it monitor its performance and ensure most optimum performance. The bot can automatically understand when load is placed on it or when it is removed using the load cell present on it which allows it to work fully autonomous.
The team already has 3 products out in the market which have been very popular.
TechnoBoard: It is an ATmega 32 based Robotics Development board which can be used to design different Robots by connecting various sensors and actuators to it. With 200 units already sold, this has become quiet popular with the students in Goa.
Zazu Wireless Programmer: It is a wireless module for communication between PC and Robot while the Robot is functioning. So it is a programmer and a wireless module bundled in one device. Instead of connecting and disconnecting a USB cable to PC and Robot every time you program, you can now wirelessly program the bot.
Insert Picture of Zazu here.
Topping Pi: Accessory to the Raspberry Pi board. It allows to connect various sensors (Like analogue and actuators which require higher voltage etc.).
Initial investment in Inventrom was Rs.1 lakh that came from Pranav’s savings. Post that the company has been self-funded. Workshops are currently their major revenue generator. They have successfully conducted workshops for our corporate clients such as TCS, Chowgules, NETZSCH, Persistent Systems Ltd apart from various colleges like as IIT Kanpur, IIT Roorkee, BITS Pilani, BITS Goa, VIT. “We have also conducted workshops at conferences such as Nullcon, VLSI Society of India Symposium, BARCamp Goa,” he added proudly. Inventrom has trained more than 1500 engineering students in the past 1 year.
We asked the founder why he did not go for investments (which would have been easy to get for such innovative products), and he said “Having investors in early stages would have meant unnecessary restrictions as well as an excessive run towards profit motives. The workshops bring in a steady flow of finances which led Inventrom fund their R&D for products. During my MBA studies at Goa Institute of Management one of our professor of Finances Mr. Ram showed us how it is more important to look at working capital for the startup to run rather than investments or assets. This learning has become the base of financial strategy at Inventrom.” Though now with some of their products already launched and the prototype of Minion Bot being ready with positive responses, the Team Inventrom is looking for suitable Investors in their firm.
Inventrom is currently a partner of the giant Microsoft Bizspark. The program provides us cloud server for our software like TechnoIDE. The company is looking at launching the Minion Bot by end of this year. “Our main focus till next year will remain on the Minion Bot promotion and marketing and ensuring sales of the same,” they said. They are also launching an online store to increase sales of our R&D products.
Pranav’s advice to future entrepreneurs is “Take up a job that you love to work on. Since you are going to spend a major time of their life of their job it is very important to choose what you enjoy doing.”