Dec 16, 2020

Interact with the robot at Smartworks, you can tell your problems to Mitri.

It may not be like Chitti, the Rajinikanth-style robot, with the ability to save the world Mitri, a humanoid robot is assisting receptionists at Smart-works, a co-working space provider in Bengaluru — firing answers till she runs out of battery. The robot also takes people around the facility. Soon, it will do the work of a security guard by manning the premises, similar to Robocop.

Called Mitri, a female humanoid robot, it is a first of its kind robot taking up these tasks. Made by an Indian start-up called Inventor Robotics, the robot assists Smartworks in even taking feedback from people who use their co-working space.

Analysing sentiments

“From complaints such as uneven air cooling, stinky toilets, Mitri takes feedback from people and relays it back to us in real time”, Neetish Sarda and Harsh Binani, founders of Smartworks told BusinessLine. On average, Mitri engages 70 customers in a day.

“The robot has the capability to analyse sentiments based on the information available online, which Smartworks uses to make informed decisions,” said Balaji Viswanathan, CEO, Inventor Robotics.

Also, with a single charge (which will take about3 hours) it runs for 12 hours. When it gets low on charge, will send an SMS to a registered number.

Speedy process

To understand Mitri, one needs to look at the business of Smart-works. In a co-working space, there will be constant issues ” from a coffee machine not working to air conditioning ducts either dispensing too much cool air or insufficient air.

Earlier humans would take the feedback, which would be captured and discussed. The process would take time, often days. With Mitri, the process is speeded up considerably to less than 24 hours,” said Sarda. Binani also points to the way Mitri handles visitors. Currently, it does the basic work such as moving around the facility on its own. “Going forward it is being programmed to recognise people’s faces. The robot will even attempt basic conversation, similar to a sales guy showing around a new apartment,” said Viswanathan.

Human-chatbot interaction is on the rise globally and it is at an early stage, with estimates of around 20 per cent of the urban population across the globe using it.

Recently, facility management and property services firm JLL introduced a humanoid robot in the role of receptionist and concierge.

The benefits apart, globally there has been a growing debate on humans versus machines, as the latter take away many jobs. It has now come under the scanner from policymakers to sociologists. According to a study by McKinsey Global Institute, robot automation is expected to take away 80 crore jobs across the globe by2030.

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