With a COVID-19-hit world hard-pressed to maintain social distancing, a private firm has deployed seven humanoid robots and other artificial intelligence techniques to reduce human-to-human interaction almost next to nil in its functioning.
From carrying files from one person to another to marking the attendance of its employees and taking visitors' temperature and regulating their entry to the office, the robots have taken upon themselves several works requiring human interactions in the office.
A robot guards the entry gate to welcome visitors, performs thermal scanning to check their body temperature and sounds an alert if the visitor is not wearing a face mask.
The robotic guard's artificial intelligence is synced with the working of the entry gate, which opens up only after it gets a green signal from the robot.
In a situation when most of the offices have stopped taking biometric attendance, the firm has tasked another robot to mark employees' attendance through facial recognition.
Another humanoid robot can make its way to assigned employees with a tray carrying files, other documents and even tea and snacks.
The deployment of these humanoid robots has greatly reduced the chances of human interaction in the office and that of the employees contracting infection, said Ramesh Chaudhary, the director of RC Enterprises, a Jaipur-based electronic appliances manufacturing firm.
Office employees now need not go to their seniors or colleagues to have documents checked, he said.
The company is planning to soon deploy more robots in its office, even for works like watering the garden and carrying necessary items to different floors of the office building.
"The aim is to promote safety, hygiene and physical distancing. Doors, fans, ACs are completely automated and the robots are being further used to maintain physical distancing and hygiene," said Mr Chaudhary.
The humanoid robots use artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) to do their jobs. They need not follow any pre-determined route on the floor and can navigate their way on their own, said Mr Chaudhary, detailing robots' various features.
They can even take the lift and reach an employee on another floor, said Mr Chaudhary, adding when they start running out of power, they head straight towards the charging point.