Restaurateur HMSHost has introduced humanoid customer service robots at several food and beverage (F&B) outlets at airports across North America. The 4ft (1.2m) Pepper robots, provided by Japanese tech developer SoftBank Robotics, are able to greet and engage traveling guests in multiple languages and provide menu details and even offer recommendations.
Following on from an initial trial at the Pyramid Ale Taproom in Oakland International Airport, California, Pepper has now been introduced at hockey-themed restaurant Avenue des Canadiens in Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Canada, as well as at the Washington Redskins Burgundy & Gold Club in Washington Dulles International Airport, Virginia, and at Point the Way Café in Los Angeles International Airport, California.
Jim Schmitz, vice president of innovation, HMSHost, said, “HMSHost is the industry leader in culinary innovation, but we’re also at the forefront of bringing travelers the latest airport dining technology to help ease their travels. We are excited to bring something as unique and entertaining as Pepper to help us further enhance the experience we offer our guests. We’re thankful to these airports for being willing to explore innovative methods with us that bring new ways to elevate travelers’ journeys.”
Pepper’s features can be customized for each airport so interactions can vary from directing passengers to gates and restrooms, to entertaining guests and even posing for selfies.