Would the presence of Tour Guide Robots at crucial touristy areas actually signal the death of a real life tourist guide? Perhaps, but perhaps not. After all, a robot is still cold and calculative, and no matter how “warm” you want it to be in the voice recording, it will be unable to have the warmth of the human touch. The Tour Guide Robot project that kick started in 2006 saw professors from the Gifu National College of Technology and Aichi Institute of Technology, where this mobile robot balanced on a couple of wheels, and thanks to the inverted pendulum model, it is capable of righting itself when pushed from the front or back. An accelerometer and a gyro sensor is also included to help maintain accuracy even though it has to go through bumps or ramps.
This Tour Guide Robot will be controlled by a museum official, where said human will operate the robot using a standard game controller (for a certain degree of familiarity, I suppose), with on-board microphones and speakers paving the way for verbal communication with visitors. Needless to say, the visitors and tourists will be able to use a headset and a tablet PC to help them gain far more from a visit to a historical place than just walking through it on their own.
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