Meet Mitra, the friendly robot connecting coronavirus patients with loved ones in India

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Sep 16, 2020, 04.24 PM(IST)

A robot named 'Mitra', which is used by the patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to communicate with their relatives, is seen inside an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Yatharth Super Speciality Hospital in Noida, on the outskirts of Photograph:( Reuters )

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India has found an interesting solution to keep people in contact with each other, given the severity of coronavirus pandemic in the country

India has found an interesting solution to keep people in contact with each other, given the severity of coronavirus pandemic in the country. 

A hospital in the world’s largest democracy recently deployed a robot to not only patrol its wards, but also to help patients connect with their loved one.

The best thing about a robot overlooking coronavirus wards is that it keeps healthcare workers safe from the virus.

The robot is called “Mitra”, which translated into “friend” in Hindi. The robot had earlier interacted with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a 2017 event.

A robot named 'Mitra', which is used by the patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to communicate with their relatives, is seeA robot named 'Mitra', which is used by the patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to communicate with their relatives, is seen in Noida | Reuters
 

According to news agency Reuters, the robot’s eyes are equipped with facial recognition technology, to ensure it remembers those he had interacted with earlier.

Mitra’s chest also has a tablet to allow video calls, being in touch with family, but also for medical staff to supervise the contagious wards.

"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 in Noida Extension, told Reuters. The basic usage of Mitra is restricted to patients unable to communicate using their phones.

A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) speaks to his family members, using a robot named 'Mitra' at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Yatharth Super Speciality Hospital in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, September 15, 2020A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) speaks to his family members, using a robot named 'Mitra' at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Yatharth Super Speciality Hospital in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, September 15, 2020 | Reuters
 

The robot was developed by Invento Robotics, a Bengaluru-based start-up. The hospital paid 1 million rupees ($13,600) to acquire Mitra, as reported by Reuters.

On Wednesday, India crossed the grim 5 million threshold for the total number of coronavirus cases.