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costa cruises pepper robot

Pepper lands a job on luxury cruise liner

Costa Cruises is bringing five of the latest generation of Pepper robots on board the flagship of the fleet, to entertain guests during their vacations

Costa Diadema, flagship of the Costa Cruises fleet, has introduced Pepper, the first robot in the world able to recognize main human emotions and proactively interact with the surrounding environment.

Five Pepper robots will be operative on all seven-day cruises of the Costa’s flagship in the Western Mediterranean: their task will be to entertain cruise passengers, making their on board experience even more unique and unforgettable.

This innovation, unique in the cruise industry, is the result of an agreement signed between the Italian cruise company and SoftBank Robotics (formerly Aldebaran), part of SoftBank Group, announced late last year. 

Launched in 2014 in Tokyo, Pepper is well equipped with features and a high-level interface for communicating with those around him, using the latest advances in voice and face recognition. On board Costa Diadema, Pepper is able to speak 3 different languages – Italian, English and French – so to better interact with the Costa’s international clientele.

Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises, says: “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.”

Fumihide Tomizawa, president of SoftBank Robotics, which owns Pepper, says: “We are pleased that Costa Group was the first to welcome Pepper on board to offer a unique and fun experience. We hope that Costa’s travellers will enjoy even more their journey and that Pepper will successfully accomplish his mission to entertain them.”

Costa Diadema’s guests can meet the robots in five areas of the ship. In addition to answering to direct questions addressed to him, Pepper is able to drawing attention and starting an interaction when people come close to him.

The company says Pepper’s funniest features were developed in collaboration with Intuitive Robots are linked to entertainment: Pepper can dance with guests, involve them in games or propose to take souvenir selfies posing.

As well as make people smile, the robots are able to provide guests with very useful information for their holiday concerning the ship and the on-board services, such as those about restaurants and bars, excursions, activities program, spa and shops.

Pepper is also able to provide guidance about destinations included in the cruise itinerary, that in the case of Costa Diadema are Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma, Cagliari and Civitavecchia. Finally, Pepper can ask guests for their opinion about the cruise experience and the main on-board services.

Following this trial on Costa Diadema, from September 2016, another trial will take place with five more Pepper robots on board Costa Fascinosa, another ship of the Costa’s fleet that offer seven-day cruises in the Mediterranean.

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