Humanoid robot interacts with guests onboard ship


New to the on board staff of Costa Diadema, flagship of the Costa Cruises fleet, is Pepper, the first robot in the world able to recognize main human emotions and proactively interact with the surrounding environment. Soon five Pepper robots will be operative on all 7‐day cruises of the Costa’s flagship in the Western Mediterranean. Their primary task will be to entertain guests.

This innovation, unique in the cruise industry, is the result of an agreement signed between the Italian cruise company and SoftBank Robotics (formerly Aldebaran), part of SoftBank Group, announced late last year.

Launched in 2014 in Tokyo, Pepper is well equipped with features and a high-level interface for communicating with those around him using the latest advances in voice and face recognition. Onboard Costa Diadema, Pepper is able to speak three different languages – Italian, English and French – to better interact with the Costa’s international clientele.

“Thanks to the introduction of these robots on board Costa Diadema, Costa Cruises confirms once again its great spirit of innovation. Our goal is to amaze people who choose to spend their holidays with us and to go beyond their expectations by offering something unforgettable. I am convinced that being able to interact with Pepper will be an incredible experience for all our guests,” declared Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises.

  • Duetto Trends Banner
  • APN Solutions Banner
  • eHotelier Essentials Banner

“We are pleased that Costa Group was the first to welcome Pepper on board to offer a unique and fun experience. We hope that Costa’s travellers will enjoy even more their journey and that Pepper will successfully accomplish his mission to entertain them,” said Fumihide Tomizawa, President of SoftBank Robotics Corp.

Costa Diadema’s guests can meet the robots in five areas of the ship. In addition to answering to direct questions addressed to him, Pepper is able to draw attention and start an interaction when people come close to him. His funniest features are linked to entertainment: Pepper can dance with guests, involve them in games or propose to pose for a souvenir selfie.

As well as making people smile, the robots are able to provide guests with very useful information for their holiday. They can convey information concerning the ship and the onboard services such as those about restaurants and bars, excursions, activities program, spa and shops. They are also able to provide guidance about destinations included in the cruise itinerary, which in the case of Costa Diadema are Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma, Cagliari and Civitavecchia. Finally, Pepper can ask guests for their opinion about the cruise experience and the main onboard services.

Following this trial on Costa Diadema, from September 2016, another trial will take place with five more Pepper robots on board Costa Fascinosa, another ship of the Costa’s fleet that offer 7‐day cruises in the Mediterranean.

Pepper in figures:

  • 120 cm
  • 29 kg
  • 12 hours of battery
  • 6 lasers
  • 3D camera
  • 2 2D cameras
  • 10‐inch touch screen tablet
Cornell analysis predicts likely boost for hotel profits
Hotel guest satisfaction plateaus as “perks” become standard expectations: J.D. Power study