Tuesday November 20, 2018
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Mitra: An Indian Robot That Greets You With A ‘Namaste’

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The robot greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Hyderabad. Facebook
The robot greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Hyderabad. Facebook
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  • Mitra greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Hyderabad
  • It is a made-in-India robot designed by Balaji Viswanathan and his 14-member team
  • The Indian robot can be rented for interactive sessions at offices, hotels and private birthday parties, through www.mitrarobot.com

Mitra is an indigenous humanoid robot made of fiberglass. It has been programmed to greet customers and interact using facial and speech recognition, contextual help, and autonomous navigation. The robot greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Hyderabad.

ALSO READ: Robots to be controlled by human minds

robots parts india, The visual of Mitra being assembled; all parts of the robot were sourced from India. Facebook
The visual of Mitra being assembled; all parts of the robot were sourced from India. Facebook

Indian Robot

Mitra and its partner were the two bots designed by Balaji Viswanathan and his 14-member team, who domestically sourced all the parts except for the chips needed to build them. The Indian robot is serving humans in a few Canara Bank branches as well as P.V.R Cinema outlets in Bengaluru.

Robot Price In India

One can rent the robot for interactive sessions at offices, hotels and private birthday parties, through www.mitrarobot.com.

Mitra is a home robot that can also be used for domestic help. Facebook
Mitra is a home robot that can also be used for domestic help. Facebook

Home Robot

All work and no play might make Mitra dull. While one day might entail engaging with our Prime Minister and the U.S President’s daughter, another day might see the humanoid have fun. Says Vishwanathan to the Economic Times, “People rent out Mitra for weddings and birthday parties. It moves around like a loud jukebox playing songs, takes pictures, also tweets those out if you want it to.”

ALSO READ: Robot journalist: Will IQ outsmart EQ now?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump pressing a button each on Mitra's display screen. Facebook
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump pressing a button each on Mitra’s display screen. Facebook

Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Things didn’t go as planned for Invento CEO Balaji Viswanathan at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017. Both Ivanka Trump and Prime Minister Modi were supposed to separately press a button each on the robot’s touch display. However, both of them pressed the buttons at the same time. A few awkward seconds of silence later, one of them raised a finger again, and the device registered.

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India Begins Its Election Season With Five States

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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India, elections
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the 'Global Mobility Summit' in New Delhi, India, VOA

India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.

Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.

The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.

India, elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Continues To Stay Mum On The #MeToo Movement. Wikimedia Commons

“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”

Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.

Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”

The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.

India,India, elections
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents as he accuses Narendra Modi’s government of buying 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault at a highly inflated price, in New Delhi, India. VOA

The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.

A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.

India, elections
Modi Appeals For A Regional Front Against Terrorism, flickr

Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Announces Easier Access to Credit

Adityanath has been appealing to the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist base and on Sunday accused the opposition of blocking construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram on a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh.

The destruction of a mosque on the site by a Hindu mob in 1992 sparked deadly riots across the country. (VOA)