The Unconventional Industry: Is India’s Planys Technologies going to embark success in water technologies?

The Unconventional Industry - Planys Technologies

Have you ever thought of that submarine inspection, exploration, rescue and recovery would be possible someday other than human divers? Currently, these types of activities; such as underwater inspections only be done by human divers within the limitation of the various factors, such as depth, endurance and hazard. What if we say there is a startup, Planys Technologies manufacturing remotely operated, underwater robots, you will believe it or not? Yes, this startup is providing submersible robotic inspection and survey solutions using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs).

The solution to the depth, endurance and hazardous process of submarine inspection, exploration, rescue and recovery has been developed by Planys Technologies. The startup develops remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), the underwater drones which provide underwater robotic inspection and survey solutions to Infrastructures (Dams & Bridges), Energy (Oil & Gas, Power, Hydroelectric) and Maritime (Ports, Terminals, Shipping). Let’s know more about the technology that is going to be the brightest hassle-free future for underwater enigmas. This is our new story of “The Unconventional Industry” about Planys Technology working in submarine inspection, exploration, rescue and recovery.

Planys Technologies Commencement Journey:

Planys Technologies, a Chennai-based startup, founded by Tanuj Jhunjhunwala, Vineet Upadhyay and Rakesh Sirikonda. The story of Planys Technologies’ begins when a team of two students Vineet Upadhyay and Rakesh Sirikonda represented IIT Madras in 2012 in San Diego at the annual international autonomous underwater robotics (AUV) competition. The team of two students represented India at the international competition and won the national round organised by National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), after continuous hard work of two years.

Tanuj Jhunjhunwala, after taking inspiration, took up his Master’s thesis under the guidance of Prabhu Rajagopal, Faculty at IIT Madras, on underwater robotic inspection. After a year of comprehensive research, they prepare a pipeline inspection through with the help of using ultrasonic guided waves in an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

“We have innovated a technology solution that integrates advanced underwater sensing/diagnostics for various industries, has an ability to go up to depths of 200m and a design-driven ability to integrate multiple payloads. Our solution empowers the site engineers to view live data and direct operations in real time – something they have lacked in the past. We have also been successful is creating extremely customized solutions for Indian waters like navigation and data collection in extremely turbid waters,” Vineet Upadhyay.

Planys Technologies’ Funding and Investments:

Recently Planys Technologies raised $2.16 Mn (₹ 14 crores) in Series ‘A’ round of funding from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) Start-up Fund and Ranjan Pai’s MEMG Family Office. Earlier, the startup had raised ₹ 17.5 million in angel round funding from Keiretsu Forum. From this funding, Planys Technologies is planning to expand its robotic fleet, fund product development and scale up its operations. Prior to this,  under project Ankur, the startup also granted amount of ₹ 1.5 crores from BPCL Startup Fund in developing customised robotic systems for the Oil and Gas industry.

The investors of Planys Technologies are:

  • MEMG Family Office
  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC)
  • Kris Gopalakrishnan
  • Keiretsu Forum

“We see Planys making a huge impact with its disruptive technology, solving problems in very traditional and vital industries for India,” stated Dr Ranjan Pai.

Accomplishments of Planys Technologies:

Planys Technologies incubated at IIT Madras Incubation Cell and an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for intensive underwater robots (remotely operated vehicles or ROVs). The startup designs manufacture compact remotely operated vehicles, such as underwater drones that provide inspection and survey services. The startup spans the domains of marine robotics, advanced Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), and analysis tools for post-inspection. Planys Technologies bringing the technology and innovations in underwater robotics and diagnostics in the superficial depth segment of the Indian market.

Planys team a blend of robotic enthusiasts and experts in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT). The startups’ underwater robotics technology has also been supported enthusiastically from Oil and Gas and the Ports/Shipping sectors industry and also considered at 2nd place in the “MIS 2016 – DP World Prize” startup competition. In 2016, Planys had also won the ‘Entrepreneur Award of Takeda Young Entrepreneurship Award’ by the Takeda Foundation, Japan. The startup is providing services to multiple traditional sectors like Infrastructures (Dams & Bridges), Energy (Oil & Gas, Power, Hydroelectric) and Maritime (Ports, Terminals, Shipping), etc.

“Having successfully completed over 35 projects spread across multiple sectors with many repeat orders, I think it’s been a fantastic two years for us. We thank our customers, investors and advisors for their constant support and encouragement throughout. With this fundraise, we are on course to create a huge impact and make such technology easily available in India,” said Tanuj Jhunjhunwala.

Mike, Planys Technologies’ first marine robot has undergone an operation of 700 hours in October 2016. In November 2016, the startup launched its second indigenously developed ROV Beluga has an ability to reach 200-metre depth and go to speeds of up to four knots in comparison to Mike Beluga has more than double the thrust capacity and an enhanced vision.

Future Glory of Planys Technologies:

India and similar countries where money isn’t abundant, hire human divers for underwater activities, which is a dangerous job. Alternatives if we use robots for such underwater activities, which are specially built to dive into deep water and even some can weigh a few tons, it is costly and expensive but there is no danger and limit to dive so deep as such for human divers. This technology can also help in alerting the danger so the person can easily be aware of the coming threat and prevent it before. The threat could be in any way like Tsunami alert, heavyweight alert on railway bridges, etc. it could be any kind of threat to life or property.

The company currently worked on the projects, such as robotic inspection services at offshore locations (ports, offshore platform, civil structures etc) and planning to provide onshore services (storage tanks, pipelines) sites and ship hulls. Their key client’s list comprises terminals (Chemplast Sanmar, BPCL Mumbai refinery), Railway bridges in multiple divisions, ports (Chennai, Vishakhapatnam) and Power plants (TPCIL and NTPC). Planys Technologies’ is working on their vision to emerge as a world-leading provider of diagnostics-driven marine robotics contributing to longevity and safety of these structures.

“We see Planys making a huge impact with its disruptive technology, solving problems in very traditional and vital industries for India. Led by a very passionate and energetic team, we are confident that Planys will be a major international player in a few years,” said Ranjan Pai.

The best thing is India is a developing nation, and no such services provided as of now, so it could be like a revolutionary step for Planys Technologies. As the Indian government is the biggest support for the company, so Planys could hardly have research and any other type of problems in their work. Also, the Indian Government is initiating increasingly in promoting new age tech including robotics, as in the Union Budget 2018, robotics industry allocated with $480 million. Planys is expected to utilize the fund in the expansion of its existing product line and develop a few more innovations.

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