Pepper @ Sound of Science
Previous sunday, Pepper was a guest @ Sound of Science, a science festival at the beautiful location of Hof ter Linden, Edegem.
As soon as I took our Pepper robot out of the box, children (but also adults!) were attracted to it. It quickly became a friend of everyone you could say. The ever existing magnetic field around Pepper did its work, as we are used to. Even starting the robot was an attraction, not to speak about what it tried to teach us about the solar system through a quiz on its tablet. Quite a popular robot indeed!
I believe the design of the robot can explain this effect. It’s friendly looking, moves gently and of course, it says nice things. And that’s what people like, so it seems. I haven’t seen any child being afraid of Pepper. And that’s a true compliment to the developers of this robot. They made it possible for Pepper to teach us something while making us smile. And it requires only a little magic behind the scenes.
Let me explain: The quiz was made in Choregraphe, which is a piece of software developed for robots like Pepper. Through Choregraphe, Pepper starts doing the coolest things. Perhaps you didn’t know, but it can even play the saxophone and airguitar!
So perhaps Pepper is not the most advanced robot that’s currently on the market. For example, it’s not to be compared to the Atlas robot in terms of navigation. I can tell you this from experience, because if you let Pepper navigate close to an obstacle (e.g. a table is quite dangerous), it might drive against it, and then you better practiced your fanciest rugby moves in order to save it from falling over. But in terms of accessibility for children (and often even adults), it’s definitly doing a very good job. Let Pepper teach, and you’ll see it at its best.
To conclude, Sound of Science was a success, with Pepper being itself: a friendly, sometimes a bit clumsy, but definitely charismatic robot. And we learned something, because at least I now remember what’s the biggest planet in the solar system (Jupiter), what’s the planet the closest to the sun (Mercury), which planet has two rings (Saturn), … thanks to Pepper patiently repeating it for a 1000 times. 😉
So Pepper, stick to being such a great teacher, and I’m already looking forward to our next event! 😃
This blog was originally published here.