How Unbox is building a first-of-its-kind package sorting solution for the global logistics industry, powered by Intel Startup Program

Powered by the Intel Startup Program, Unbox Robotics is bringing a generational shift in supply chain automation solutions. Their new-age flexible robotic sorting solution is enabling automation of fulfillment or sorting centers in the customer’s network; significantly enhancing productivity.

India, an emerging hub for e-commerce, has shipped out nearly 3 billion parcels in 2020. As huge as it is, it’s just a fraction of the excess of 131 billion parcels shipped across the world in 2020, according to a Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index. That translates to 4,160 parcels shipped every second, a volume expected to double, to reach 266 billion in 2026. Meanwhile, the warehousing sortation solution market is also poised to hit $32 billion by 2023 globally.

While automating existing sorting systems requires large capex, significant increase in floor area, and installation time, Unbox Robotics is changing this. Its scalable and flexible vertical parcel sorting robotic system can be deployed 10x faster and it improves personnel productivity by over 400 percent in less than 50 to 70 percent of the area taken by existing systems.

A first-of-its-kind package sorting solution

Unbox Robotics’ solution brings a generational shift in supply chain automation solutions. Their new-age flexible robotic sorting solution can enable automation of the smallest fulfillment or sorting center in the customer’s network; significantly enhancing productivity and cost advantages. Their unique AI-based central robot control system employs Swarm Intelligence and Dynamic Binning modules which increase the productivity of the robots. 

“With a massive surge in e-commerce, in the next three to five years, the logistics industry needs to handle about 2X the load they process today. We noticed that the existing ways to sort and ship packages, whether manual or automated, are very inefficient in terms of capital, installation time, or the kind of area they require,” says Pramod Ghadge, CEO, Unbox Robotics.

“Therefore, we decided to build a first-of-its-kind mobile robotics system that is most compact and powerful to automate package sorting and order consolidation processes for logistics and retail players. Our ‘plug and play’ swarm robotics system can improve the package sorting productivity while saving the area by 50 to 70 percent compared to existing sorting systems," he adds.

Meet the founding team

Domain and tech capabilities apart, Pramod Ghadge and Shahid Memon’s obsession for customer success is cited as one of the main reasons for investor’s confidence in Unbox. Pramod, Co-founder and CEO, Unbox brings to the table global experience in manufacturing and logistics automation domains. Prior to founding Unbox Robotics, he was at Flipkart, where he took care of automation deployments in fulfillment and sorting centers, including India’s first robot-based sorting project. His skill sets are complemented by Shahid, the co-founder and CTO who brings onboard several years of experience in fields such as robotics, intelligent systems, and swarm intelligence. Prior to founding Unbox Robotics, he founded Vanora Robots and worked as CTO in the fields of robotics and home automation.

There’s no stopping the duo who went from a concept on paper to deploying their multi-robot system at customer’s facilities in under two years.

“We are looking at closing sales worth more than $1 million in the current financial year, which is also the first year of revenue generation for our product,'' says Pramod.

How the Intel Startup Program powered Unbox’s growth journey

“Through the Intel Startup Program, Intel has been supporting us in our product development efforts with their technology expertise. We are leveraging Intel’s computing and vision technologies in our systems. Their computing platform gives us around 30 percent higher computing power and uses a small form factor in our robotics solutions. Additionally, Intel's depth and vision system, RealSense, is versatile for various use cases within our products,” says Pramod.

“The startups can get strong support from the Intel team in terms of technology mentorship, marketing, access to wider industry, and mentor network. These benefits are extremely valuable as technology startups need to validate their ideas at a rapid pace and scale, and get early customer traction,” he adds.

The Intel Startup Program: enabling startups to scale their game-changing innovations

The Intel Startup Program is Intel India’s flagship program to engage with technology startups who have an IP or innovative solutions that have the potential to create impact on customers and align with Intel's focus areas. The program is at the forefront of engaging with India’s startup ecosystem through high-impact collaborations with the industry, academia, and government and runs multiple initiatives that are either vertically aligned or focused on emerging technologies.

It engages with startups that have a unique global or local value proposition to solve genuine customer problems, enabling them with domain and business expertise from the industry and mentorship from Intel.

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