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Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines joint venture airline Vistara has come up with a first-in-India robot using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that can assist customers, address their queries and entertain them.

Named ‘RADA’, the robot is aimed at helping the airline offer an enhanced on-ground service to its customers. During its initial stage, RADA will be placed at Vistara’s Signature Lounge at Delhi Airport’s Terminal 3 from July 5, 2018, to assist customers using the lounge before they board their flights.

At present, ‘RADA’ can scan boarding passes and further provide information on the terminal, departure gates, weather conditions of destination city, real-time flight status as well as information about Vistara’s products and services. It greets customers and interacts with them using basic hand movements, and is capable of moving around in the lounge on predefined pathways. Additionally, it can engage with kids and adults alike by playing games and other multimedia content such as songs and videos.

‘RADA’ will be further developed over a period of time in terms of functionality and features for future use cases, after gauging customer feedback.

Vistara’s new AI-powered robot RADA

‘RADA’ has been envisioned and incubated under Vistara’s Innovation initiative. It is conceived, designed and engineered by its team of technology experts and apprentices from Tata Innovation Lab with support from students of reputed institutions. Vistara claims that it is one of India’s most economical robots which is completely made of indigenous components, thus making a compelling ‘Make in India’ story.

‘RADA’ is built on a chassis of four wheels, enabling it to rotate 360 degrees, and it has three in-built cameras for cognitive interaction.

Explaining what sparked the idea behind ‘RADA’, Vistara’s Chief Information and Innovation Officer, Ravinder Pal Singh said, “It was a realisation that the talented, young employees engaged in ground services, gain immense customer service experience on the job, but the limited scope of their routine work could challenge their true potential. Some of them spend decades within the walls of an airport, assisting customers. Therefore, we thought of inventing a robot that can help us enhance customer experience by gradually taking over the routine, mundane tasks.”

He further adds “The basic premise of the thought was to develop a simple and extremely cost-effective practical robot that can engage in basic human interaction to begin with, and can further be developed to perform more complex tasks, as consumer habits continue to evolve in the technological age where humans and machines will complement and create an evolved harmonious evolution.”

Various Robots Launched in India

In December, H-Bots Robotics, a Hyderabad-based robotics startup, has unveiled world’s first smart policing robot. The robot is developed by the startup is fully ‘Made in India’, using all the components sourced from within the country.

Last September, Bengaluru-based robotics start-up Invento Robotics has launched an intelligent robot called Mitra, which the startup made in collaboration with manufacturing hubs in China.

In April 2017, a Chennai based startup had launched a a food serving robot and soon after a Mall robot was also launched by an another Indian startup.

Meanwhile, in last month a Mumbai-based robot making startup Emotix has raised $2 million in a funding round led by venture capital firms IDG Ventures India and YourNest. The startup has created India’s first personal companion robot, Miko, which has the capability of engaging, educating, and entertaining a child the Indian way.

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