The country's second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank plans to install interactive humanoids Intelligent Robotic Assistant (IRA) in its branches in Kochi. The humanoids will be developed by Asimov Robotics, a start-up based in Kochi. 
 

The bank has already deployed one humanoid at their Kamla Mills branch in Mumbai. The IRA will be able to communicate with customers in English and guide them to various counters including cash deposit, foreign exchange, loans among others. 
 

"The bank is working on making use of artificial intelligence in its operation and with the development of voice recognition technologies coupled with core banking facility, use of robots will open up many new possibilities," HDFC Bank's digital banking head Nitin Chugh said. 
 



The bank developed the IRA in partnership with the start-up and aims to incorporate other services as per the feedback from customers. Chugh also claimed that theirs was the first humanoid deployed in domestic banking space. However, robots that will be deployed in other locations will not be a replica of IRA as the bank is planning to develop it further. The bank is also looking into introducing advanced technologies like virtual reality, internet of things and blockchain technologies into banking sector, he added. 
 

Asimov Robotics is working on introducing features like the ability to identify customers through face and voice recognition, voice guided navigation and providing assistance to customers in balance enquiry, cheque deposit, etc. 
 

City Union Bank, previously, had introduced 'Lakshmi', a robot that uses artificial intelligence and is capable of handling 125 topics. 
 

The start-up company is also working on developing humanoids for various spaces like hospitality industry, airports and retail chains after they got several queries over the possibility of deploying humanoids.