It is called Mitra (friend in Hindi) and it is a robot that allows patients , hospitalized for  the coronavirus , to talk with their loved ones who, precisely because of Covid19, cannot visit them. At “work” in a hospital near New Delhi , Mitra wanders around the wards and, thanks also to facial recognition, manages to be almost a true friend to the sick.

On the robot’s chest is a tablet that allows patients to connect via video call with their relatives and friends , as well as with medical staff . To recover from the coronavirus “it takes a long time and during this period the patients need their families, but they cannot receive visits,” said Arun Lakhanpal, a doctor in the Indian hospital where Mitra operates, explaining why the robot was used.

But the work of this android does not stop there: Mitra is in fact also used for remote medical consultations, thus reducing the risk of contracting the infection. The robot was developed by Bengaluru-based start-up Invento Robotics, and cost the hospital 1 million rupees (about 11,500 euros), according to Yatharth Tyagi, the director of the company that runs the hospital.