Terminator, Robocop, Wall-E… these sci-fi movies all have one thing in common. Robots. These mechanical marvels have long been depicted to play a pivotal role in our lives in the future, and it seems this future is upon us. Meet Pepper, the humanoid robot working in the Pizza Hut outlet at SAFRA Punggol.
During Pepper’s 5 day trial, Pepper greeted diners, offered recommendations and assisted with menu choices-all in a genial female voice. All one has to do is greet it and pair your Masterpass account embedded in the Pizza Hut Singapore app, and the robot will take your verbal orders and process your cashless payment. In fact, Pepper -as claimed by its’ progenitors (Softbank Robotics)- has the “ability to perceive emotions”, and “is the first humanoid robot capable of recognizing the principal human emotions and adapting his behaviour to the mood of his interlocutor”.
Rather impressive, isn’t it?
This was definitely the thoughts of Tobias Puehse, the vice president of Labs at Mastercard Asia Pacific, who had his orders taken in less than three minutes and even praised him for his “great choice” of menu items.
However, this seamlessness wasn’t felt for every customer, as some were unable to get the robot to recognize their words. Pronunciation, it seems, is the key.
Nonetheless, Pizza Hut will be taking into account the feedback it has received and decides the fate of Pepper. If Pepper is lucky, this will likely herald the inception of the robot industry, which does sound rather dire… Whatever the outcome is, we sure are in for an interesting ride in the 21st century!