EUROPE: Eurostar passengers in the departure area of London St Pancras station can now interact with a humanoid robot to find more information about their journey. Eurostar expects this to be particularly popular with families.

The Pepper robot from SoftBank Robotics was supplied by Robots of London. It uses a camera to understand facial expressions, body language and speech, can respond to questions and can pose for a photograph.

Passengers can interact with the robot through its tablet computer, which includes a station map, journey information and travel tips for Paris, Brussels, Lille and Amsterdam.

‘We are always looking for new ways to innovate and explore technologies that can help enhance the overall customer experience’, said Eurostar’s Head of Digital Perrine Allain on October 24. ‘Pepper offers a fun way for customers to find out more about their journey and destination, and we look forward to hearing the feedback from our customers so that we can continue to improve their experience.’

Pepper robots have previously been deployed by Japan’s Keikyu Railway to greet passengers at Tokyo Haneda Airport station, and by SNCF at stations in France

  • Later this month Eurostar is to launch an Alexa intelligent personal assistant add-on ‘skill’, which will allow passengers to link their voice-activated devices and Eurostar account to track travel plans and find out the lowest available fare to Paris.