Costa Diadema welcomes Pepper, the humanoid robot able to interact with guests

Costa Cruises is bringing 5 latest generation robots on board the flagship of the fleet, to entertain guests during their vacations.

Genoa, 12 July 2016 – On board of Costa Diadema, flagship of the Costa Cruises fleet, was presented Pepper, the first robot in the world able to recognize main human emotions and proactively interact with the surrounding environment. Starting from today, five Pepper robots will be operative on all 7-day cruises of the Costa’s flagship in the Western Mediterranean: their task will be to entertain cruise passengers, making their on board experience even more unique and unforgettable. 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. On board Costa Diadema, Pepper is able to speak 3 different languages - Italian, English and French – so 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 that choose to spend their holidays with us and to go beyond their expectations 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.

“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 5 areas of the ship. In addition to answering to direct questions addressed to him, Pepper is able to drawing attention and starting an interaction when people come close to him. His funniest features developed in collaboration with Intuitive Robots are linked to entertainment: Pepper can dance with guests, involve them in games or propose to take souvenir selfies posing. As well as make people smile, the robots are able to provide guests with very useful information for their holiday concerning the ship and the on-board services, such as those about restaurants and bars, excursions, activities program, spa and shops. He is also able to provide guidance about destinations included in the cruise itinerary, that 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 on-board services.

Following this trial on Costa Diadema, from September 2016, another trial will take place with 5 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 battery
  • 6 lasers
  • 3D camera
  • 2 2D cameras
  • 10-inch touch screen tablet

About SoftBank Robotics

SoftBank Robotics is driving technology forward by becoming a worldwide leader brand in robotics. The SoftBank Robotics brand name regroups more than 500 employees working in Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco, Boston and Shanghai. Robots under the SoftBank Robotics brand, Pepper, NAO and Romeo, are used in more than 70 countries worldwide and offer innovative applications relevant for the fields of research, education, retail, healthcare, tourism, hospitality and entertainment. For more information: www.ald.softbankrobotics.com

About Costa Cruises

Costa Cruises is the Italian Cruising Company part of the Carnival Corporation & plc, the largest cruise company in the world. For 67 years, the ships of Costa fleet have plied the seas of the world being the ambassador of the pleasant mood of Italian hospitality and the true Italian holiday, with delicious food, selected wines, unique shopping experience, completed by a vast selection of Italian famous brands. Currently the Costa fleet, the largest in Europe, has a total of 15 ships in service, all flying the Italian flag. Moreover two next-generation cruise ships will be delivered in 2019 and 2021: they will feature a revolutionary “green design” and will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, representing a major environmental breakthrough. Costa embodies the Italian excellence surprising its Guests everyday with unique holidays experiences and unforgettable memories thanks to 19,000 Costa's associates worldwide who are passionately working everyday to offer "Italy's finest" cruise vacations through 137 different itineraries, 261 destinations and 60 embarkation ports. www.costacruise.com

About Intuitive Robots

Founded in 2014, Intuitive Robots gives a spark of life to humanoid robots and makes them useful in everyday life, by providing new uses in the digital strategies in the areas of retail and services, or for daily life activities. In partnership with Softbank Robotics, the start-up designs and creates useful, user centric and intuitive solutions for Pepper and NAO. Intuitive Robots has designed “Pepper4Services“, a suite of solutions which includes applications and web tools for Pepper, which is adaptable to any kind of business (Retail, services…). Through a web interface, this ready-to-use solution allows to easily, rapidly and intuitively create and manage the robots’ dialog, gesture and behaviors. www.intuitive-robots.com

For further information:

Costa Cruises 
Press office - Tel. +39 010 5483523 / 010 5483068 - costapressoffice@costa.it
Gabriele Baroni – Communication Director – cell. +39 3497668013 - baroni@costa.it
Davide Barbano – Media Relations Manager – cell. +39 334 6525216 – barbano@costa.it
Press releases and photos available at www.costapresscenter.com

SoftBank Robotics (Formerly Aldebaran)
Aurore Chiquot – Communications Director - +33 (0)181720268 – achiquot@aldebaran.com
Vincent Samuel – PR Manager - +33 (0)181720287 – vsamuel@aldebaran.com

Intuitive Robots 
Julien Joliff – Marketing & Communication Manager - +33(0)240490821 – jjoliff@intuitive-robots.com

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