Pepper, the emotion-detecting humanoid robot from Aldebaran, will be joining the staff of two Carnival Corporation cruise lines, Costa Cruises and AIDA, in the spring of 2016. Pepper will first join the Costa Diadema and sister ship AIDAprima, with other ships in each fleet adding Pepper robots in the summer.
A team of Pepper robots will greet passengers as they board the ships, offering tips about dining, events, and excursions in English, German and Italian.
A successful trial run of Pepper took place on board AIDAstella earlier in 2015. The Costa Group signed an agreement worth more than a million euros for use of the robots, with a goal to “delight guests of all ages.”
Pepper stands just under 4 feet tall and has three omni-directional wheels. Pepper also has a 3D camera to detect passengers movements along with a 10 inch touch screen. If guests aren’t delighted, Pepper will probably be able to tell.
“With an emotional robot on board our cruise ships, we are once again continuing our tradition of innovation,” said Michael Thamm, CEO of the Costa Group. “For us, this is an important step towards a digital future for our brands.”
Another cruise line, Royal Caribbean, turned to robots in 2014 when it added robotic bartenders to the Quantum of the Seas.