IBM, MIT Pune introduce Watson-powered robot ‘Chintu’

Pune: IBM in collaboration with Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT), Pune, on Thursday introduced ‘Chintu’ — a cognitive assistant powered by IBM Watson that will assist senior citizens in conducting everyday tasks.

The students at MIT, Pune, have been using IBM Watson APIs powered by IBM Bluemix to solve day to day problems, the company said in a statement.

“What I like most about Watson is that it can solve real world problems. These services can be used as and when required, and are always accessible,” Krishnamohan Manmohan, a student at MIT, Pune, said on the sidelines on the ongoing MIT Tech Fest.

“The robot has opened up a new and exciting research avenue for our students. Robotics, machine learning and cognitive computing are interesting and exploring fields of research today and our students are getting first hand experience of working in these fields,” added Vrushali Kulkarni, Professor and Head of Computer Engineering Department at MIT, Pune.

Meanwhile, Mezjan Dallas, University Relations Leader at IBM India said that it was amazing to see what bright young students could do with technologies like IBM Watson.

“This is a great example of co-creation. You put great technology in the hands of bright and enthusiastic students, you give them freedom and a fun element and India’s next generation of engineers start to do magical things. This is the way in which innovation will happen in the future,” Dallas added.

Drawing from Watson’s domain knowledge, Chintu assists senior citizens in completing tasks like reading the newspaper/book, provide mood based entertainment services for song and dance and generate reminders on their daily medication.