Onio Design Private Limited in Pune city of State Maharashtra is one of the reputed innovation and design - consulting firms in India. Onio was founded in the year 1997 by its two Founder Directors. Manoj Kothari and Mr. Prakash Khanzode, about the time when the Indian economy had entered the globalization market in a major way and Indian firms were just on the verge of realizing the actual strength of design-led innovation strategy in business.
During the dotcom times, opportunities came their way that resulted in creation of a separate division to serve digital branding needs of the times that were.
Over the last 15 years this design consulting firm has evolved its services to match the new challenges and opportunities thrown up by India Inc. on the one hand and the MNC’s seeking business opportunities in the fast growing Indian market on other. It seems apparent that their insights during internal discussions on being positioned as 'Integrated Design Services' positioning versus, 'Product Design and Innovation Consulting' focus, stands vindicated. Through this strategic decision, Onio has established for itself a unique niche in Design Research and Future Consulting through its newly created division OnioNxt. Today, Onio has made Indian Design prominent across the continents and is counted amongst the successful design-consulting firms in the area of Product Design and Strategy.
OnioNxt is working with consumer insight led product companies like Volkswagen, Samsung, Microsoft, and Titan etc. to help them create direction and concepts for future. Its other arm - OnioMax, is working with MSMEs in India and abroad to provide a time-tested product design and development service. Strong engineering capability is a hallmark of Onio, something that is usually missing in Indian design service companies.
India is bubbling with grass root innovations and Onio believes that they will be able to contribute to Indian enterprise in creating an innovative ecosystem through their intervention. Towards the end, this firm is also working in tandem with organizations and individuals who are promoting the individual inventor entrepreneurs. (Ref. 1) Over the years, the design firm has interacted with hundreds of individual innovators and inventors who are either in early stages of their idea development or have secured a patent but now are seeking an investor or manufacturer.
Onio has created a new division, OnioViz, dedicated to this service. This new division helps innovators and start-up companies in first conceptual visualization of their product ideas for investor/ manufacturer/ buyer presentations. Many times referred as ‘Virtual Prototyping’, this process saves errors in judgment of usability and potential of ideas, before the huge investments are made in physical prototyping and manufacturing. OnioViz team has experience of working with overseas and Indian clients for over hundred such assignments in the last one-year. Being a part of a ‘design company’ OnioViz naturally becomes sensitive to User Needs and Productization implications, which become the key approval criterions in the development process of an innovation. (Ref. 2)
Operating guns, fixing technical applications and carrying out an unmanned reccé can now be done without being at the spot.
City-based Onio Design, in collaboration with the Defense and Research Development Organization (DRDO), has developed a unique mobile robotic platform that can carry out the jobs up to 500 m through a control device.
The product is called the Robostation and has been developed under Onio's technology applications and product development initiative. The device was first launched and demonstrated to a focused audience during a symposium on robotics and autonomous vehicles in Pune last November.
"We developed this mobile robotic device through technology collaboration with Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) at Dighi. The mobile platform can carry up to 40 kg and can be controlled from a distance of 500 m. It uses a specially designed controlled equipment," said Onio Design founder Prakash Khanzode. "The controlling device is ministered through a backpack which has the computers and other monitoring devices in it," he said.
Some applications that can use this mobile platform are pick-and-place operations, as a disrupter unit, carrying out reccé and operating guns.
"We are developing unmanned vehicle projects. This device helps us in validating the software required for operating unmanned vehicles on a smaller platform," said senior scientist at the R&DE laboratory Alok Mukherjee.
The device is currently been used at the DRDO laboratory for in-house applications. "We have developed three prototypes of the robotic station.
They have been delivered to DRDO. Our company has also designed an exo-skeleton extra armour worn by soldiers to increase their load-carrying capacity in specific terrains," said director of Onio Design Manoj Kothari.
Onio is also looking at commercial manufacturing of the device. "We will produce this on a much larger scale through our network of vendors at the MIDC Bhosari area after we complete our delivery to the defence," Khanzode said.
Mukherjee said robostation is a pioneering product. Earlier, such devices were imported. The device can be used to teach robotics.
Onio has also designed and developed a multi-terrain robot ladder for the DRDO labs. (Ref. 3)
Reference 1: Onio renews its focuses on Product Design and Innovation
Reference 2: Making the innovators, investor ready: Virtual prototyping service for
innovators from OnioViz
Reference 3: Onio in Press- DNA- Pune- 11th Feb 2009. From Onio, mobile platform for