14:59 | 29.04.20 | Articles | exclusive 90284

COVID-19 vs. Armenia’s tech industry: Expper Technologies

Technological companies have switched to remote working because of the coronavirus pandemic. Itel.am has talked with Armenia’s tech companies about the impact of the pandemic on their activity, as well as the specifics, positive and negative aspects of remote working, and their vision of the post-coronavirus world.

Founded in Armenia, Expper Technologies creates robots that help children overcome stress and depression during treatment at hospital.

Robin the robot operates on AI and can imitate and share emotions to communicate with humans. Currently being tested in several hospitals, Robin uses this unique approach to help the children get out of the depressed state of mind and socialize, which in its turn helps the doctors with the treatment.

Expper Technologies co-founder Karen Khachikyan has told Itel.am that his team is working remotely in the last few weeks.

“We have introduced new procedures to assess the completed work more correctly. Before the pandemic, when we were all in the same office, task management was easy, but now we have to do it while working remotely,” he said.

The team mostly communicates via online platforms and apps such as Zoom and Slack in order to make the communication efficient.

The challenges of remote working

Karen tells that it is difficult to directly work on the robot during the lockdown, because it requires physical interference.

“Our CTO Hayk had to take Robin to his home and work on it there. We had to turn the flat into laboratories. The situation makes us improve procedures established in the company, because we can no longer work in the same space. Use of new tools has allowed us to conduct better oversight of the work,” he said.

Robin solves the problem of limited socializing in hospitals

According to Karen, the pandemic and the lockdown have greatly complicated the daily life of children who are receiving treatment at hospitals, because the visits have been limited and even the medical staff avoid contacting with the children patients more than necessary.

“Hospitals in the U.S. are looking for solutions to secure at least distant socializing for the children patients to reduce stress and anxiety among them. Robin can do that, so we’ll be making an announcement soon,” he said.

The pandemic is an opportunity to adopt new technologies

Karen believes that as most companies have switched to remote working, they have the opportunity to change old ways of management and adopt new technologies. Optimization of resources is ahead as well.

“Certainly, the whole world is going to change because this new lifestyle will cause behavioral changes. Companies need to be flexible and address the new reality. There will be challenges with new investments, which is why companies need to act quickly to increase profit,” he concluded.

Narine Daneghyan