Glasgow Airport has introduce an all-singing, all-dancing humanoid robot to ‘entertain’ passengers.
While regular readers of my blog will recognise the robot as Pepper… this time around it is called GLAdys – named after the airport’s international code. It is claimed to be the first robot to be used by a UK airport.
Pepper as Santa! It’s like saying that the best Bruce Springsteen record of all-time is ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’.
GLAdys is somewhat demeaningly dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, and programmed mainly to sing and dance to three ‘classic’ Christmas songs: Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rocking around the Christmas Tree and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
GLAdys is also programmed to entertain visitors with three festival tales (Twas the Night before Christmas, When Santa Claus Comes, and Santa’s Workshop), as well as take selfies with passengers using a hand-mounted camera. Travellers can then receive the picture by email or have it shared on the airport’s social media channels.
GLAdys has been introduced as part of the airport’s ‘digital passenger experience project’, which explores how customer engagement and communication can be enhanced through the use of technology.
“We are always looking for new and innovative ways in which we can further enhance customer experience at Glasgow and believe the introduction of GLAdys to be a first for a UK airport,” said Mark Johnston, operations director at Glasgow Airport. “Last year we launched our virtual assistant, affectionately dubbed ‘Holly the Hologram’, at various points across the airport and she has since proved extremely popular with our passengers.”
Pepper as Santa… help me. It’s like saying that the best Bruce Springsteen record of all-time is ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’… Let’s stop thinking ‘novelty’ and start thinking practicality before we lose the point!