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Velasco, Sofia

Mr. Wisner

World History

Period 3

4/5/17

Dancing Robots now on duty at San


Jose International Airport

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2016/10/28/san-jose-airport-
robots/92881248/

Key Vocabulary from the Article


o Robot - A robot is a machineespecially one programmable by a computer
capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically. Robots can be guided
by an external control device or the control may be embedded within.
o Homage - Special honor or respect shown publicly.
o Future Robot - A company founded in 2009. They create markets for service robots,
obtain core robotic technologies with business knowhow, acquire brand awareness with
excellent products, practice for technology convergence and have made every effort to
cultivate its human resources.
o Geofence - a virtual geographic boundary, defined by GPS or RFID technology, that
enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a
particular area.

Summary of the Event


The San Jose International Airport in California has decided to hire three robots
as customer service agents. The names of these three robots are: Norma, Amelia, and
Piper. SJC decided that that some roles of these robots would include: offering
directions, taking a selfie, dancing, play music, printing, buying, translating, and overall
entertaining travelers.
The robots names were chosen with careful thought. The robot Norma is named
after Norman Mineta. Norman was a former San Jose mayor, congressman and U.S.
Secretary of Transportation and Commerce. The robot named Amelia is named for
Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. The robot
Piper pays homage to William Piper, who is a U.S. airplane manufacturer and founding
president of the Piper Aircraft Corporation.
These Service robots have a variety of robotics technology. The robots come with
a HRI service engine, which helps maintain eye contact with humans. This function
helps the robot look friendlier. They also have intelligent avatars, which help the robot
express emotion through various face expressions. The robots have interactive UI and
intelligent display devices attached to their hands. An order payment service also is
connected to the robots. This allows them to print tickets and receipts for customers at
airports. The robots also recognize, translate, and speak in 30 different languages.

Your Opinion of the Event


I think this event is so innovative and brings so many advantages to travelers.
When I moved to the U.S., I would have greatly appreciated having a robot that would
guide me and answer my questions in my language. These robots provide so much
comfort to those traveling abroad or for their first time. I believe every airport should
have these service robots, as they provide much needed help and convenience. These
robots are also much more reliable, as they are programmed to be friendly and helpful
in every circumstance.

Relate your Event to a Historical Event


My current event on service robots at San Jose International Airport relates to
human assistants that have been around all throughout history. The most current
assistants that can be compared to these service robots are airport information
assistants. I realize this is still a current job position for humans, but I believe it can be
compared and contrasted because this job will be replaced by robots in the near future.
Airport information assistants, like service robots, need to have good customer service
skills, speak foreign languages, direct passengers, and help travelers shop. A difference
about airport information assistants and service robots, is that humans need to be paid,
while robots are just bought. Another difference is that robots are more convenient and
reliable because unlike humans, they do not change moods nor get sick.

Relate your Event to a Theme


The article Dancing Robots now on duty at San Jose International Airport relates to the
historical theme cultural interactions. In the cultural interactions theme, this article is
related to the science and technology subtheme. This event relates to science and
technology because it utilizes robotic technology to provide special services for humans.
These robots utilize face and voice sensors to be able to recognize travelers. They also
have a Kinect sensor to detect human presence, and they have a navigation system to
locate every place in the airport.

Questions You Have About the Event


1. How long will it take for every airport to have these service robots?
2. How long does their battery last?
3. How many languages will they be able to know in the future?
4. How fast are these robots?
5. Other than airports, where else would these robots be of service?
6. Will they be able to have more flexibility and movement in the future?