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Published on : Thursday, December 17, 2015
The trend began with First Royal Caribbean developing robot bar tenders. Now Costa Cruises is also jumping on the robotic bandwagon with a robot called Pepper, which is programmed to respond to human emotions. Pepper will be coming on board Costa’s ships next year, (and Germany’s AIDA, too) to function as a sort of Wal-Mart greeter for passengers.
Pepper’s height is a little under four feet. Unlike the Bionic Bartenders on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class vessels, Pepper is self-propelled, and more humanoid than industrial.
Costa said the first batch of Peppers will join the fleet in spring 2016, and will be guiding guests when they embark and while onboard. They will also be on hand to provide recommendations and tips on restaurants, events and excursions. They will be programmed to respond in English, German or Italian.
Pepper was developed by the Japanese telecom company Softbank for use in its stores.
The Costa Group is using them under an agreement with a Softbank subsidiary that will cost it over $1 million.
Pepper has already been interned successfully onboard an AIDA ship “demonstrating his seaworthiness while engaging with customers and crew.”