RADA, a humanoid developed and built at the Tata Innovations Lab, now greets passengers at Visrara’s Signature lounge at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) Terminal 3. RADA helps customers in scanning boarding passes, giving information about flight schedules and weather conditions at the passenger’s destination. The humanoid has a predefined path set where it moves around and can also have basic hand gestures.
The humanoid was made operational on July 5. It is built on a chassis of four wheels that enables it to rotate 360 degrees, and has three in-built cameras for cognitive interaction. Furthermore, it also has voice technology.
Apart from giving information and answering queries of passengers, the humanoid can also play games, songs and videos. The company plans to further enhance its features based on the feedback that they get from passengers.
Kempa at Kempegowda International Airport
In March this year, the then IT/BT minister of Karnataka, Priyank Kharge announced that Kempa, a humanoid will be soon placed at Kempegowda International Airport. Kempa, developed by Sirena Technologies, can guide passengers within the airport as well as suggest tourist places in Karnataka. Kempa can interact with passengers in English as well as in Kannada.
A wave of humanoids across industries
“Robots are the new middle class. And everyone else will either be an entrepreneur or a temp staffer”, said James Altucher. It seems like the famous quote is coming true in India, with a wave of humanoids being installed across industries.
In the banking sector for instance, in November 2016, City Union Bank was the first to introduce a robot- Lakshmi to answer queries. Lakshmi is based on IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence engine and is placed at a branch in Chennai.
HDFC Bank recently installed a second version of its humanoid IRA at a branch in Bengaluru. IRA 2.0 has voice capabilities, can answer customer queries, and guide customers to specific counters in the branch as per the customers’ needs. The first version of IRA is stationed at a branch in Kochi.
Mitra, another humanoid that was launched during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit last year, is currently seen at select branches of Canara Bank and PVR Cinemas. Mitra can greet customers and has autonomous navigation voice, facial and speech recognition capabilities. Mitra can respond in multiple languages making it possible to reach a larger audience.
Not just the private sector, but even the defence sector is using humanoids. Daksh, a humanoid developed by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), can detect and recover IED’s and thus help the defence sector further. The humanoid can climb staircase, carry loads and cross difficult terrains. It can also be operated remotely from a distance of 2.5 km.