Nao Robot Won’t be a Hotel Concierge for Long

Steve Carlin, Aldebaran's VP of marketing and business development for the Americas, joined the Robotics Trends Show to discuss all-things Connie, but he also talked about why Pepper should ultimately replace Nao as the robot concierge of choice.

Photo Caption: Connie, the concierge robot, is being tested at the Hilton McLean in Virginia. (Photo Credit: Hilton Worldwide)

The Hilton McLean in Virginia is testing a Nao robot with IBM’s Watson technology as a hotel concierge. Called “Connie” after company founder Conrad Hilton, the popular humanoid robot can answer questions from guests about nearby restaurants, tourist attractions and more.

Connie can’t check you in yet, but that certainly is the plan if all goes well with this trial. IBM Watson helps Connie with natural language processing. Connie also uses travel information from WayBlazer for personalized recommendations for travelers.

At this point, Connie is stationed at the hotel’s front desk, greeting guests as they come in and freeing up hotel staffers to do many other things. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen robots working in hotels, of course. The Aloft hotel in California has a robot butler zipping around, while the Henn-na Hotel in Japan has an entire staff of robots.

Aldebaran makes the Nao robot, but it also makes Pepper, a newer, mobile humanoid robot designed to interact with people and read your emotions. Steve Carlin, Aldebaran’s VP of marketing and business development for the Americas, joined the Robotics Trends Show to discuss all-things Connie, but he also talked about why Pepper will ultimately replace Nao as the robot concierge of choice.

Listen to the podcast using the embedded player below and share your thoughts on Connie the IBM Watson-powered hotel concierge.




Listen to the podcast using the embedded player below.

Listen to this podcast

Podcast rundown

  • Hosts: Steve Crowe, Steve Carlin
  • Duration: 24:43
    • Background of Connie Robot Concierge Project: 0:56
    • How IBM Watson Powers Connie: 1:48
    • Why Didn’t the Hilton McLean Choose Pepper: 3:41
    • Updates on Pepper’s Development in the US: 6:00
    • How Are Hotel Guests Reacting to Connie: 7:12
    • Future Capabilities of Connie: 8:37
    • Is a Robot Better than a Digital Signage Display: 10:57
    • Will Americans Embrace Robots in Hotels?: 12:25
    • Will Humans Lost Jobs to Connie?: 14:40
    • Residential Plans for Nao/Pepper : 17:43
    • Will We See a Fully Staffed Robot Hotel in the US?: 21:53

Watson-enabled Hotel Concierge



About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe: scrowe@ehpub.com  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.




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