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.