INTRO: In light of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis all around the world, we have seen the use of humanoid robots in various healthcare and public places, helping medical staff and disinfecting areas. Now, a hospital in India has deployed a cute yet useful robot MITRA in its premises to help its patients communicate with friends and family members.
Developed by Bengaluru-based Invento Robotics, the “Mitra”, is a robot that roams around the hospital looking to help patients. The name of the robot means “friend” in Hindi. And in fact, the robot is indeed a friend to those who want to talk to their family. So, the robot helps the long-term patients suffering from COVID-19 or any other disease make phone and video calls to their friends and family.
“It takes a lot of time to recover, and during this time, when patients need their families the most, they are unable to visit.”, Dr. Arun Lakhanpal, a doctor at the Yatharth Super Speciality Hospital said in a statement.
A Friend in Need
Now, coming to the robot itself, the “Mitra” comes with two facial recognition cameras inside its sharp eyes. This enables the robot to remember the faces of the staff and the patients of the hospital.
The tablet-like device attached to its chest helps patients to place video calls for their friends and family.
It is mainly to help the patients who do not have access to smartphones or are unable to use one. For instance, since its introduction, the robot has helped many older people to connect with their family members. Moreover, many specialist doctors are using the robot for remote consultations with their patients to reduce the risk of infection.
A retired government executive suffering from COVID used the robot to communicate with his family members and was very happy.
“I came here on Friday and now I have started feeling better. I am feeling very happy now.”, said Makhanlal Qazi.
Now, as per the reports, the hospital authorities had to shed around Rs 1,00,000 (~$13,600) to get one of these robots from Invento Robotics.