Since the start of 2018, Japanese electronics and technology giant Panasonic is continuously advancing in its robotics, automation and Internet of Things (IoT) strategies including both IoT-based products as well as services and solutions.
In a first in India, Panasonic is looking to launch two of its latest assisted robotic products in India by early next year. This includes a robot that can carry luggage and the other one is assisted-walking robot which the company wants to launch in hospitals before selling to the consumer market.
For its robotics products, Panasonic will initially target hospitals in India and then eventually take these for B2C (business to consumer) market sales in the country.
Panasonic first unveiled its autonomous delivery robots for hospitals called HOSPI, in 2015. A part of the company’s hospital porter management system, HOSPI robot is able to deliver (up to 20kg) fragile and bulky medicine, medical specimens and patients’ case notes 24/7, easing manpower constraints.
For its India strategy, Panasonic wants to create a complete IoT product ecosystem by launching a slew of new IoT-based products like location trackers and mobile handsets. The company is also developing new IoT products and solutions based on Artificial intelligence (AI). These IoT products will be developed at the company’s Innovation Centre in Bengaluru, that it had opened in May last year.
For next 5 years, Panasonic is investing a total Rs 240 crores in its Bengaluru centre and a part of this investment will be utilized for solutions of its digital assistant Arbo. In August last year, Panasonic had launched its first AI-based smartphones India, that comes with Arbo, the virtual assistant .
The products made at Bengaluru centre will not only be for India but also for Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Panasonic is also aiming to work with developers and form tie-ups with technology companies to build AI-specific solutions and IoT products in India.
“We are looking out for partners. It would be extremely difficult for any organization not only Panasonic to look at these kinds of developments in isolation…it’s an era where masters of trades are needed. However, the core technology has to come from your side,” said Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India, to Economic Times.
Additionally, the company is also on verge of launching a competitor product for Amazon Alexa and Google Home. This home automation product however will be based on Alexa platform.