MSC Rob: The Humanoid Robotic Bartender

Conversational Humanoid Robotic Bartender Entertains Guests at the MSC Virtuosa Starship Club
The Challenge

MSC needed a show stopping attraction for their newest flagship MSC Virtuosa. The expansive cruise ship boasts some of the world’s largest attractions on the sea such as the largest pool at sea or the largest LED dome for their shopping promenade. In addition to these luxurious amenities, the MSC Virtuosa is a statement in innovation and technology. The ship is hailed as one of the most environmentally-sound ships at sea currently and thus needs to integrate that future-minded thinking for their unique space-themed bar “MSC Starship Club”.

In this bar, “Rob”, the first humanoid robotic bartender at sea prepares drinks for the guests. MSC needed an additional humanizing aspect to Rob which consists of two robotic arms, swiveling base and an expressive digital “face” on a screen. Rob, while a robot, is also a bartender who must be able to converse with the guest to build a sense of immersion to the whole experience.

The Solution

Expressive Speech
MSC reached out to ReadSpeaker to voice Rob not only to greet guests but to take the conversation further in a more expressive way. Rob is able to tell jokes, or use expressions just like a human with the life-like TTS voice further establishing Rob not as just a machine but a humanoid which can and wants to engage with the guest. While not too different from the TTS voices of the past, Rob highlights just how much emotion can be imbued to an avatar using ReadSpeaker voices.

Multi-Lingual Support
The MSC Virtuosa travels all over the Mediterranean, down the Suez and all the way to Dubai. Not only that but they receive guests from all around the world. This necessitates that Rob be multilingual. Rob is  able to speak in English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese using the same voice with ReadSpeaker voices.

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