The ongoing Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 in Hyderabad inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and White House advisor Ivanka Trump was kick started by the humanoid ‘Mitra’ developed by Bengaluru-based startup Invento Robotics.
The made in India robot, that has its roots in China, was deployed first in Canara Bank six months back. Now, the robot is also seen walking in the corridors of PVR Cinemas in Bengaluru, India. The robot can recognise and greet people and guide customers just as customer care executives do.
Invento Robotics deployed two bots at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Weighing 30kg and 4.5-feet tall, the robot can perform a variety of tasks and can identify people at airport and other places through nationalities and recommend hotels, restaurants and place of interest.
Invento Robotics was founded in October 2016 after the founders pivoted from their educational startup named Invento Makerspaces. “We wanted to change education with a maker-centric approach, but it turned out to be harder than we had anticipated,” said Balaji Vishwanathan, CEO of Invento Robotics.
The founders of the company decided to take a conventional route to fund the startup after the VC market in India failed to show much interest. Canara Bank plans to deploy the robot in 500 of their branches.” The bank has also extended a loan of INR 80 lacs to us which would enable us to further expand and upgrade our services,” adds Vishwanathan. The company manufactures the robot from Bengaluru and plans to launching a “female” version of Mitra soon.
Mitra is a perfect fusion of Indian software and China’s hardware system capable of face detection, face recognition, speech recognition, contextual support, and autonomous navigation. Mitra can be used as a customer service agent in multiple domains like banks, hospitals, airports, hotels. Invento Robotics is currently focussing on two sectors – BFSI and retail.
Startups making robots are seeing a rising demand in banking sector. A growing number of public and private sector players such as HDFC Bank and City Union Bank are introducing humanoid robots to serve their customers. India’s first banking robot was launched by City Union Bank in Chennai last November. Named Lakshmi, the two-feet tall robot offers details about accounts, interest rates, loans, etc. Following the same footsteps, HDFC Bank launched its banking robot IRA in late 2016 in Mumbai. The robot greets customers and takes them through the various services on offer.
Robots offer excellent customer service and are soon likely to be integrated with core banking systems. “These are early days in the adoption of robotics in banking; we have to work on the security aspect,” said Vishwanath, adding, “Only if that is done we can request banks to provide access to critical banking data to perform core banking services like insurance, financial transactions, etc.”