Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Care-O-bot® 4 celebrates its première as shopping assistant

08.11.2016

In January 2015, Fraunhofer IPA presented a prototype of the “Care-O-bot® 4” service robot. The charming helper is now proving its worth in the real world. “Paul” the robot has been greeting customer in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products.

Care-O-bot 4®, alias Paul, approaches Saturn customers and welcomes them to the store. If they ask him about a certain product, he accompanies the customer to the department and points them in the direction of the relevant shelf. As he indulges in small talk about the weather or another subject, Paul turns out to be a most charming contact partner.


Paul, a member of the Care-O-bot® 4 robot family, has been greeting customers in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products.

Source: Saturn

However, he prefers to leave actual customer service to his human colleagues. Paul is able to call another member of staff for support via “Voice over IP”. Before Paul bids a fond farewell and returns to the store entrance, he still has time to ask for feedback.

In this way, he discovers whether customers appreciated the interaction or not. Martin Wild, Chief Digital Officer at Media-Saturn-Holding: “With Paul, we are offering our customers the opportunity to get to know one of the most advanced robots in the world.”

Modular construction facilitates a wide range of application areas

The interactive robot prototype was originally developed by Fraunhofer IPA as an assistant robot to actively support humans, for example in areas such as the household, hotels, care homes and hospitals. IPA scientists worked together with the design studio Phoenix Design and Schunk over a period of three years to complete the fourth generation of the robot.

While the predecessors of Care-O-bot 4® were used primarily in the development of technological fundamentals from 1989 onwards, the latest version is a modular product family offering elementary commercial solutions for the first time. Fraunhofer IPA is now working with its spin-off company “Unity Robotics” to ensure the solution is suitable for use in various commercial application areas.

Saturn is the first customer to make use of the robot platform in real-life scenarios. The project will initially run for six months, with practical findings from customer interactions and employees directly incorporated into the further development of robot technology. For the assignment with Saturn, the Stuttgart-based scientists supplemented Care-O-bot® 4’s software and hardware with additional features. Ulrich Reiser, IPA project manager, explains: “For example, we specified Paul’s navigation, dialog communication and facial expressions. Semvox and Phoenix Design helped implement these changes.”

Laser scanners at shin level help with Paul’s orientation. Paul’s front camera and the “Shore” software developed by Fraunhofer IIS allow him to ascertain the mood of the person he is dealing with and express their emotional state. Microphones and cameras for speech and gesture recognition respectively allow Paul to communicate with those around him.

Care-O-bot® 4 open for research and industry

Care-O-bot® 4 is not only making a positive impression as a retail assistant. With its modular construction and open software interface, the system can be used in many different application areas. It could, for example, conceivably be used as a mobile information kiosk in shops and airports, for pick-up and delivery services in homes and offices, for security applications or as an attraction in a robotics museum.

“We retain an interest in ensuring that as many scientists and companies as possible are able to work with the system in order to expand its potential areas of application”, Reiser explains. Within the framework of the Care-O-bot® 4 research platform, experts from around the world can further develop the software and hardware components. Together with the spin-off company Unity Robotics, IPA experts are intending to adapt applications to the needs of companies, making Care-O-bot® 4 available as a commercial product.

Press communication: Ramona Hönl | Tel.: +49 711 970-1638 | ramona.hoenl@ipa.fraunhofer.de

Expert contact: Dr. Ulrich Reiser | Tel.: +49 711 970-1330| ulrich.reiser@ipa.fraunhofer.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.ipa.fraunhofer.de/en/care-o-bot-4_saturn.html

Jörg Walz | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Factory networks energy, buildings and production
12.07.2018 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

nachricht Manipulating single atoms with an electron beam
10.07.2018 | University of Vienna

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>