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Get ready for RADA, first robot at Indian airports to be deployed by Vistara

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • At present, RADA can scan Boarding Passes and provide information on Departure Gates, Weather Conditions of Destination City and Real Time Flight Status.

NEW DELHI: Now, robots may soon greet you at Indian Airports. The first such use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been made Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines JV Airline Vistara which will station ‘RADA’ — a robot that uses AI to assist customers, address their queries and entertain them — at its Delhi Airport Terminal 3 lounge from July 5 2018.

“The robot is aimed at helping the airline offer a seamless experience and an ‘intuitively thoughtful’ 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. ‘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 said in a statement.

At present, RADA can scan boarding passes and provide information on departure gates, weather conditions of destination city and real time flight status. “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,” the airline said.

Vistara CEO Leslie Thng said: “With RADA, we aim to change the way people interact and fly with an airline. We will be developing ‘RADA’ based on customer feedback and equipping it with the most effective features in the time to come. Our steadfast focus remains to be on delighting customers across all touch points, and we’re confident that ‘RADA’ will help us take the ‘new feeling’ to the next level.”

RADA has been conceived, designed and engineered by a team of technology experts and apprentices from Tata Innovation Lab with support from students of reputed institutions. The “Made in India” robot is built on a chassis of four wheels, enabling it to rotate 360 degrees, and has three in-built cameras for cognitive interaction.

Vistara 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…. we thought of inventing a robot that can help us enhance customer experience by gradually taking over the routine, mundane tasks. 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…”

 

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