Robin the Robot is a robotic business assistant that provides services in various fields.
Robin was developed by an Armenian start-up company, Expper Technologies.
By using the robot, it is possible to personally serve customers and have conversations with them in real time.
"In the field of customer service, a robot can act as a receptionist in hotels; it can welcome visitors, provide services to them, distinguish between their age, gender and preferences," says the co-founder of the company, Karen Khachikyan, in an interview.
Robin the Robot can also provide the same services in banks and medical facilities.
"Theoretically, Robin integrates into the systems of these companies and can provide any services that they provide. Another area is patient care in the healthcare sector. There are two goals there, and the first one is taking care of children. Children who are hospitalised for a long time usually experience stress. Robin will try to relieve stress in children," says Karen Khachikyan.
A new area they will focus on in the future is care for the elderly. Robin will be able to remind elderly people when they need to take medicine or perform physical activities, and he will also communicate with them to help make them feel less lonely.
Karen says that the robot is ready, and there are plans to bring it to the international market at the end of October. "The idea belongs to our team. We have been working on its implementation for three years," he notes.
After the development is complete, the team intends to bring the robot to the international market.
Earlier this year, the company won a grant announced under the EU-funded SMEDA (Support to small and medium-sized enterprises in Armenia) project for the Science and Technology Entrepreneurship (EU4Business STEP) programme. According to Karen, they have managed to finalise their product and are preparing it for sale with the help of the grant.
"When we applied for a grant, first of all, the process itself was very useful, which positively affected the development of our company's business model. And thanks to the grant, we were able to purchase equipment and attract employees, which allowed us to develop our product so soon. Now we already have customers. Thanks to the support of the European Union, we can already conduct testing because we have new equipment," says Karen.
Karen Khachikyan says that robotics has a great future in Armenia. However, he adds that it is very important that specialists who want to do this should have deep knowledge. "Otherwise, the progress will be simply impossible, because new solutions are already being created in the world through progressive technologies. Our young specialists should constantly pay attention to the possibility of obtaining fundamental knowledge. I think we still have a lot to do," he says.
The start-up representatives understand that robotics is a field that is taught separately in the wider world, so everything is different in Armenia. "We are gaining experience in the process of work," Karen reflects.
Author: Roza Hovhannisyan
Photos by Nazik Armenakyan