HMSHost trials Pepper customer-service robot at Oakland International

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Restaurateur HMSHost has joined forces with technology developer SoftBank Robotics America (SBRA) to trial a new humanoid robotic program at Oakland International Airport in California.

Pepper the robot will greet and engage with guests at HMSHost’s Pyramid Ale Taproom in Terminal 2 (T2), offering assistance, menu recommendations and directions to travelers.

Utilizing dedicated applications built specifically for HMSHost, Pepper will invite airport passengers to visit the bar, offering them guidance on food and drink selections based on their personal taste preferences, while detailing Pyramid’s award-winning craft beers. Through an interactive map displayed on Pepper’s screen, the robot can also help travelers find their gate, restrooms and other amenities.

Jim Schmitz, vice president of innovation, HMSHost, said, “At HMSHost, we are always working to identify the next opportunity to elevate the guest experience at airports. Through constant innovation, we aim to engage with travelers and assist them on their journey. We are very excited to introduce them to Pepper as part of these efforts.”

Steve Carlin, vice president and general manager of SBRA, said, “HMSHost is leading the charge to innovate the airport experience. With this program, travelers from all over the world will have the opportunity to meet and interact with Pepper, getting a taste of the future of hospitality and travel.”

Written by Dan Symonds

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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