Mitra, the first indigenous humanoid robot, greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Hyderabad.
Made of fibre-glass, with facial characteristics similar to C-3PO from Star Wars, and wheels like ‘Rosie’ from the Jetsons, Mitra—built by Bengaluru based Invento Robotics – greeted the Prime Minister and Ivanka Trump and proceeded to make conversation with them.
This made-in-India humanoid and its partner were the two bots designed by Balaji Viswanathan and his 14-member team, who domestically sourced all the parts except for the chips needed to build them.
Interestingly, at the event, Ivanka and Modi were supposed to each press a button on the robot separately but did so at the same time. A few awkward seconds of silence later, one of them raised a finger again, and the device registered.
In an interview with the Economic Times, Vishwanathan revealed plans of a female version of Mitra, called Mitri, which carries a tray instead of a tablet.
Regarding the sexist nature of the difference, Vishwanathan said: “Most of the servers in India are men; there is no such thought behind the design.”
Mitra is serving humans in a few Canara Bank branches as well as P.V.R Cinema outlets in Bengaluru. One can rent the robot for interactive sessions at offices, hotels and private birthday parties, through www.mitrarobot.com.
All work and no play might make Mitra dull. While one day might entail engaging with our Prime Minister and the U.S President’s daughter, another day might see the humanoid have fun. Says Vishwanathan to the Economic Times, “People rent out Mitra for weddings and birthday parties. It moves around like a loud jukebox playing songs, takes pictures, also tweets those out if you want it to.”