Opinion

Why the Indian humanoid ‘Mitra’, created in just 1 year, is far better than Japanese Robot ASIMO which took 17 years to complete?

Mitra is a humanoid robot who is just a year old, but is already being compared to ASIMO, the best amongst the humanoids ever created.

Guess who stole the show at the evening where Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the US President at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017. No, it wasn’t either Modi or Ivanka, nor even the great performers of the evening. It was in fact a tiny little ‘friend’ who greeted Modi and Ivanka and raised all eyebrows. One of India’s two humanoids, Mitra who stands 5 feet tall stole the limelight with his graceful display of Indian engineering and the power of the ‘Make in India’ project.

Mitra is a humanoid robot who is just a year old, but is already being compared to ASIMO, the best amongst the humanoids ever created. ASIMO was created by Honda in Japan nearly 17 years ago, whereas Mitra was created by Invento Robotics in Bangalore just a year ago. Mitra is already becoming the talk of the town owing to his wonderful features using which he interacts with people, remembers their faces, performs tasks for them and even makes public appearances. Mitra has already been hired and is being utilized by Canara Bank branches and PVR Cinemas in Bangalore. The CEO of Invento Robotics, Balaji Vishwanathan is happy to answer any questions regarding Mitra posed on Quora.

Mitra is a highly popular helper at the Canara bank branch in Bangalore, where he answers questions in Kannada and even leads customers to their right help desks. The Union bank too launched a two-feet tall robot named Lakshmi, which carries out similar functions as Mitra and is also capable of keeping track of financial transactions and issue cheque books.

It seems like India is prepared to accept humanoid robots as a part of their civilization now, considering the way Mitra is blending into the lives of Indians within a year of his creation. Equipped with a human size and an HD camera to recognise his human comrades, Mitra is so far doing an incredible job in carrying out his functions and also making India proud internationally. There are other humanoids in the Bengaluru international airport, HDFC bank and Bits Pilani where humanoids are being developed and implemented for human assistance.

One of the very initial speeches made by Narendra Modi after he became Prime Minister had quoted that he dreams of a country with digital expertise. The west had so long recognised India as a country of snake charmers, and now it is time for us to show them that we can just as expertly play with the (computer) mouse. Well, this time as the US President’s daughter arrived to the GES 2017, Narendra Modi’s dream was brought to reality as Mitra greeted the two in his own style. It was a spectacular show of Indian indigenous capabilities and our potential for digital mastery.

A start up that is hardly a year old and whose funding is nowhere even close to that of Honda in Japan has created a humanoid that is already being compared to ASIMO. Imagine the abilities of Indians at that. Provided the time and funding, we are confident that Mitra shall soon make it to the international sphere and bring more glory to the Make in India project. Well, for all those how blame lack of resources and demand to be shamelessly welfare addicted, Mitra stands example for what can be done with sheer human potential. We can’t stop being incredibly proud of the achievement made by Invento Robotics.


Ashwini Jain

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