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Lufthansa puts new humanoid robot to the test

MUNICH, February 28, 2018

Standing tall at 120 centimeters with sparkling, round eyes and a pleasant voice, Josie Pepper the robot will be answering questions for Lufthansa's passengers at Munich Airport's Terminal 2.

Whether they need directions to their gate or want to stop at a certain restaurant or shop – Pepper will give them a prompt answer.

With the rollout of Pepper, Munich Airport and Lufthansa are breaking new ground: It is the first test of a humanoid robot equipped with artificial intelligence at a German airport.

For the next few weeks, Pepper will welcome travellers to the non-public area of Terminal 2, which is jointly operated by Munich Airport and Lufthansa. In her initial deployment, Pepper, who speaks English, will await passengers at the top of the ramp leading to the shuttle connecting the main terminal to the satellite building. This test phase will be used to show whether Pepper is accepted by passengers.

Pepper’s "brain" contains a high-performance processor with a WLAN internet access. This creates a connection to a cloud service where speech is processed, interpreted and linked to the airport data. What sets the system apart: When this robot type speaks, it does not just deliver pre-defined texts. With its ability to learn, it answers each question individually. Just like a "real" brain, the system gets steadily better at combining questions with the relevant information to provide more precise replies.     

IBM Watson Internet of Things' (IoT) cloud-based, artificial intelligence technologies are behind Pepper’s capabilities. Pepper was developed by the French company SoftBank Robotics. The lady robot was given the name "Josie" by the staff of Munich Airport and Lufthansa when she arrived at the airport. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Internet | Lufthansa | IBM | intelligence | Artificial | Humanoid | Watson | Munich Airport | things |

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