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Costa to start trialling humanoid robots on cruises

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Date: December 18, 2015
Category Travel News
Pepper Robot CostaThe Costa Group signed an exclusive agreement, worth more than a million euros, with the French company ALDEBARAN, a subsidiary of the SoftBank Group, for the use of “Pepper” robots. Pepper is the world’s first robot that reads main human emotions. He is ideally suited to help and delight guests on board of cruise ships. Pepper will improve guest experience and provide help and entertainment on board the ships of the Costa Group’s cruise brands: AIDA and Costa.

“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,” said Michael Thamm, CEO of the Costa Group.
“I am very happy that the Costa Group gave us this opportunity. Pepper is built to interact with humans, their emotions and needs. We hope that it will fit to improve AIDA’s and Costa’s travelers’ experience,” said Fumihide Tomizawa, President of Aldebaran and SoftBank Robotics Corp.

Pepper has already completed an internship on board of AIDAstella with flying colors, demonstrating his seaworthiness while engaging with customers and crew.

The first batch of Peppers will join the crew and start helping on board of AIDAprima and Costa Diadema in spring 2016, guiding guests when they embark and while onboard. They will also be on hand to provide recommendations and tips on restaurants, events and excursions. Of course, all while speaking impeccable German, Italian and English.
By the summer of 2016 the rest of the robots will be joining the crew aboard the Costa and AIDA fleet where they are sure to delight guests of all ages.
Costa Diadema Cruise Ship
Who is Pepper?
Launched in June 2014 in Japan by SoftBank and Aldebaran, Pepper is the first humanoid robot in the world capable of recognizing the main emotions and to take his environment into account and proactively act accordingly. Pepper is well equipped with features and a high-level interface for communicating with those around him, to move fluidly and analyze expressions and voice tones using the latest advances in voice and emotion recognition.

Pepper in figures:
- Pepper is 120 cm and weighs 28 kg
- 17 joints for graceful movements
- 3 omnidirectional wheels to move with agility
- 1 3D camera for detecting people and their movements and interact with them
- A 10-inch touch screen
Genoa/Paris, December 15, 2015

Costa Group
The Costa Group is the leading cruise company in Europe, headquartered in Genoa (Italy). The 25 ships of the brands Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises and Costa Asia together have a total capacity of 68,000 beds. The fleet will be further strengthened by six new vessels by 2020. The company has a global workforce of 27,000 employees working onboard and in its 20 offices in 14 countries.

Aldebaran
Established in 2005, Aldebaran has 450 employees and is headquartered in France with offices in China, Japan and the United States. For almost 10 years, Aldebaran has been driving technology into a new world by designing humanoid robots and has become the worldwide leader in humanoid robotics. Our robots (NAO, Pepper, Romeo) are used in more than 70 countries in various fields, such as research, education, retail, care, tourism or entertainment. Aldebaran is a SoftBank Group company, holding 96% of its capital. Aldebaran, names and logos NAO, Romeo, Pepper and NAOqi are registered trademarks of Aldebaran in France and other countries.

Source: www.aldebaran.com
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