Humanoid Robots Start Work on Cruise Ship
Costa Cruises has installed five latest generation robots on board its flagship vessel, Costa Diadema. Pepper is claimed to be the first robot in the world able to recognize main human emotions and proactively interact with the surrounding environment.
Starting from July 12, five Pepper robots will be operative on all seven-day cruises Costa Diadema makes in the Western Mediterranean. Their task will be to entertain guests. Pepper can dance with guests, involve them in games or propose that they take souvenir selfies.
The move is unique in the cruise industry and the result of an agreement signed between the Italian cruise company and SoftBank Robotics (formerly Aldebaran), part of SoftBank Group, announced late last year.
Costa Diadema's guests can meet the robots in five areas of the ship. In addition to answering to direct questions addressed to it, Pepper is capable of drawing a person’s attention and starting an interaction when people come close to it. It is also able to speak three Italian, English and French.
The robots are able to provide guests with very useful information for their holiday concerning the ship and the onboard services, such as those about restaurants and bars, excursions, activities program, spa and shops. It is also able to provide guidance about destinations included in the cruise itinerary. Finally, Pepper can ask guests for their opinion about the cruise experience.
Following this trial on Costa Diadema, another one will take place in September with five more Pepper robots on board Costa Fascinosa, another ship of the Costa's fleet that offer seven-day cruises in the Mediterranean.
Launched in 2014 in Tokyo, Pepper is well equipped with features and a high-level interface for communicating with those around it, using the latest advances in voice and face recognition.
"Thanks to the introduction of these robots on board Costa Diadema, Costa Cruises confirms once again its great spirit of innovation. Our goal is to amaze people that choose to spend their holidays with us and to go beyond their expectations offering something unforgettable. I am convinced that being able to interact with Pepper will be an incredible experience for all our guests," said Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises.