Children Play with Life-size Robots at Airport Play Area

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San Jose Calif (SJC) offers a modern way of passing the time for waiting travellers at the boarding gate at Mineta San Jose International Airport. Here, children can play with life-size robots at the airport play space. A new iPal playground, the very first interactive play area featuring a humanoid social robot known as iPal, has been installed.

This iPal playground, complete with the new social companion robots, iPal by AvatarMind, is the only setup of its kind in the U.S. iPal can interact with travellers, entertaining and educating children and adults alike. The playground contains an interactive play space where visitors can talk with iPal, sing and even dance with it, as well as explore this robot’s educational applications. A maze is also included in this playground.

The Thought Behind iPal at SJC

According to John Ostrem, the CEO of AvatarMind, SJC is considered as the ideal gateway to Silicon Valley, whereby the iPal Playground offers the kind of high-tech setting you would expect for travellers here, giving them a state of the art facility experience. Visitors at the play space also get a chance to experience a direct interaction with the iPal robot prior to its market availability scheduled for later this year. This also gives the passengers an opportunity to understand how they can bring an iPal robot of their own to their home as the first customers.

Wider Release

iPal is a safety and educational companion for children, designed to engage them in social interaction and active learning, as well as kindle a science and technology interest. It is intended for widespread placement in many homes, but the current robots at the playground features a web-based mobile app monitoring capability and inbuilt camera and microphone, offering more than being a mere “babysitter” to children. iPal is also an age appropriate robot that provides children fun and even boosts a child’s school work since it supplements their classroom curricula with tablet-based educational content.

The Technology

iPal depends on an Android operating system, where a 6-inch screen allows social media and child-safe web access through which children can chat, socialise and share videos safely with their friends. The iPal playground area is an expansion of the recent deployment of SJC robots by San Jose Calif as the new airport’s robot customer service agents.

Just like any Silicon valley originated gadget, the Mineta San Jose International Airport utilises the SJC Robots as attendants who assist passengers in locating their shopping and dining among other services. The robots engage with travellers and help them to find services, while entertaining them in the process. The airport play area featuring iPal is located at Terminal B near Gate 25 of the Mineta San Jose International Airport, which serves over 10.8 million travellers per year.

The life-size robot provides young passengers an active and fun outlet away from the usual sedentary travel nature by offering a chance where they can experience an activity with extensive benefits for both imagination and physical play. This was according to Kim Becker, the Director of Aviation at SJC. He talked about SJC transforming its customer service experience through the collaboration with AvatarMind. Passengers can expect innovative, next-gen experience, defining the ever busy Mineta San Jose International Airport as an advanced world-class air travel hub.

The 3-foot humanoid iPal, due to be rolled out in a more widespread manner later in the year, is particularly suitable for children, specifically 3 to 8-year-olds.