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Costa Cruises introduces its newest member of staff: a robot greeter

Costa CruiseBrits who like to keep up with the latest technology innovations can do so next year as they embark on a Costa or AIDA cruise.

Costa have announced that an exclusive deal with Alderbaran will see Pepper, a humanoid robot, greeting guests as they board ships across the fleet and guide them while they are onboard.

Human emotions

Together with SoftBank, Aldebaran launched its Pepper robot in June 2014 in Japan. Standing just under 4 feet tall and programmed to respond to crew and passengers in three different languages ( English, Italian and German), Pepper is the world’s first robot that can read and respond to main human emotions and act accordingly say Aldebaran.

Costa Group's CEO, Michael Thamm, said: “With an emotional robot on board our cruise ships we are once again continuing our tradition of innovation. For us, this is an important step towards a digital future for our brands. I am confident that our guests will love Pepper.”

Helping and entertaining

As well as being greeted and guided around the ships while they are on board, guests will also be to enjoy the novelty factor of getting recommendations for restaurants and events from Pepper.

“He is ideally suited to help and delight guests on board of cruise ships,” said Costa. “Pepper will improve guest experience and provide help and entertainment onboard.”

Although seasoned cruise travellers will be used to Royal Caribbean's Bionic Bartenders on their Quantum class ships, Pepper will be a little different as he is self-propelled.

Finding his sea legs

Costa have said that Pepper has already successfully completed an internship on an AIDA ship Costa and whilst engaging with people onboard the AIDAstella proved his seaworthiness.

Brits looking to book a cruise complete with a Pepper on board will have the first chance to do so in spring next year on both the AIDAprima and Costa Diadema with the rest of the bots joining the Costa and AIDA fleet by summer 2016.

Picture via Dick Thomas Johnson on Flickr with Creative Commons Licence

Date Created: 18 December 2015

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