We are an innovation-led, robust, cutting-edge technology organisation
Published on : Monday 19-09-2022
Kiran Penumacha, Founder and CEO, Grene Robotics.
What is the rationale behind the GreneOS platform and how exactly it connects diverse sectors?
We started Grene Robotics back in 2008 and have invested the last 13 years into R&D to develop solutions that enable thriving human-machine collaboration by unifying people, machines, processes and systems. The connection with autonomous solutions happened when I was at Carnegie Mellon University where I worked on building autonomous systems for the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). After that experience, I was left thinking about how autonomous solutions can be made available for various industries.
On my first job into an enterprise workforce, I got firsthand experience of how broken and inefficient today’s enterprise and government operations were. I realized from my experience at CMU that to bring robots into the workforce we will need a new breed of systems powered by autonomy. This inspired me to start Grene Robotics and build a new generation platform called GreneOS on which humans and machines can co-exist.
The applications built on the platform are capable of solving complex problems using AI and robotics. Our focus has always been on creating the 5th Industrial Revolution of human-machine coexistence by bringing robots into the workforce. Today, we are an innovation-led, robust, cutting-edge technology organisation that builds AI-enabled autonomous systems for enterprises, defence, environment, healthcare, and other sectors.
With growing security concerns, especially in the wake of the proliferation of drones, how serious is the threat these pose? How can the GreneOS platform help mitigate these threats?
The Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) industry has become a massive technological playground worldwide. Apart from agricultural industry, law enforcement, meteorological agencies, medical services, environmental companies and oil refineries, the armed forces are also on the list of UAS users. As every aspect of human activity adds value to the need of UAS evolution, it also increases security risks. Thus to minimise this risk, software applications have been developed to manage and organise drone flight traffic as it can become a serious cybersecurity threat. Like the recent drone attacks at the Indian Air Force base station at Jammu that have brought to the fore this emerging ‘avatar’ of robotic warfare on the geopolitical scene. Two low-intensity bombs were dropped via Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) at this important security establishment in India. Such drone attacks signal the generation’s next battle cry for the world, while India finds itself as the latest target of this ‘war-by-remote’. As the majority of the drones employed for terror operations are relatively small and leave a negligible thermal footprint, it becomes challenging to detect and track them. In order to identify and mitigate this risk, we at Grene Robotics designed and developed an indigenous, wide-area, autonomous drone defence dome called ‘Indrajaal’ that can protect a large area of 1000-2000 sq.km against threats such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), incoming weapons, loitering munitions, etc.
The Indrajaal system is capable of identifying, assessing, deciding, acting and evolving autonomously in real-time, round the clock. Whether the threat is single or multiple or a combination of UAVs, loitering munitions and such, the system is capable of countering all such threats. It is being designed in a way that can be integrated with the current weapons infrastructure.
As a company engaged with the defence sector, are there concerns about security given the fact that Grene Robotics also caters to international clientele?
The verticals and platforms are different for enterprise and defence. For defence, we have the DefOS™ platform. Also at Grene Robotics, we support On Premises installations while addressing all client concerns as per their requirements.
Your association with Vodafone’s enterprise business sounds interesting – has this led to other companies considering moving to GreneOS platform?
Absolutely. Around $3.2mn active orders are being serviced from 11 contracts including Vodafone. We have also proven to beat our competitors in providing business process autonomy, winning orders against major tech platforms. We are working not only towards expanding the enterprise segment but across industries as well.
How can GreneOS help the manufacturing industries – discrete as well as process – that are presently in the process of digital transformation?
Post-pandemic, every industry has realized the importance of digitisation and automation. In the manufacturing industry, they have used physical robots to assemble, test, and pack products but struggled to keep back-office processes fast and simple, primarily due to unskilled labour, time-intensive processes, obsolete supply chain management systems and frequently changing regulatory requirements. Our platform offers IPAAS where we design, develop and deploy solutions that are built on a proprietary AI platform backed by ML algorithms and cognitive computing technologies that deliver autonomous processes enabling humans to focus on meaningful work while the machines do the everyday mundane jobs. Because the systems and processes are autonomous, they operate much faster than human users. With this, we offer business processes that are 4x faster and run at half the cost while delivering 95%+ user adoption.
Do SMEs figure in your business plans providing automation solutions given their resource crunch?
Our product offering is currently focused on the Enterprise segment. We might come up with an offering more suitable for the SME sector depending on how the market evolves.
Kiran Penumacha brings years of knowledge and experience in autonomous technologies and holds patents for Automated Presence Status, Presence Status-Based Communication Filtration and Authentic-based Combination of Inputs. Kiran built the world’s highest-altitude research centre at 17,664 ft for DRDO which is also mentioned in the Guinness Book of World records.
According to Kiran, the 5th IR has the potential to usher in a new socio-economic era creating infinite opportunities for humanity, and for a better planet. Robots will help humans align returns on investment (RoI) with purpose, but more than ever, it will assist humans through forward-leaning technologies.