Running a hardware business is quite hard anywhere and more so in India. Regulations in multiple industries apply to robotics companies — with required compliance in data, telecommunication, industrial machines and so on. Not to forget the high costs that are a part and parcel of this industry.
Look at cars for instance. They are far simpler than robots in mechanism and have been around for 150 years. Nobody asks a car to walk in two feet or have rocket engines. It is not required to have a lot of intelligence or computing capabilities. Even then it is a substantially expensive undertaking to build automobiles.
The electronics to handle multiple sensors required to navigate and have various motions is quite complex — if you want to do in industry grade. The moulds if you have to injection moulding are very expensive.
It is one thing to 3D print an Inmoov robot and another to do it in industrial scale. And the most complicated one is in the software part — both the ability to impart intelligence and the integration required with 3rd party tools.
Also, most customers are not yet ready for robots. Their imagination of robots swings wildly from sci-fi movies to their kid’s toys. To set reasonable expectations and to get them to focus on business problems for robots is hard.
All said, there is a big boom in robotics startups. I have travelled around US, Europe, China, Malaysia and Singapore in the recent months and there is a rapid increased in activity in robotics startups. We see a major inflexion point in about 2 years.