At the Disrupt SF Hackathon today in San Francisco, a team of seasoned software engineers unveiled Pepper the Inflight Service Bot, a robot flight attendant that doesn t hate picking up barf bags, can circulate in a plane even when there s turbulence, and can speak to passengers in their own language.
The robot is built using the Pepper companion robot, IBM Watson s artificial intelligence systems for natural language, and Panasonic s in-flight data and displays, along with Here Maps indoor navigational data.
It isn t just for in-flight use.
The robot can check in passengers at the gate, scanning their tickets, and then circulate in a plane or wait at the end of a flight to tell passengers– in their own language — which gate they need to go to for a connecting flight.
The hacker team for the Inflight Robot included: Peter Ma, Ed Aguilar, Diego Gonzalez, Brian Cottrell and Savalas Colbert.
According to Ma, the team came together and was inspired to build a robotic flight attendant at Disrupt based on the APIs and tools made available to them here.