Your questions about our social robot, ARI, answered

Social robots: the advantages of AI embodiment

With our robot ARI we created a platform that finally gives you enough processing power to embody your AI developments. AI nowadays is very important for customer service, as it provides an additional tool to transform customer service interactions that easily allows collection of data and can answer customer questions and queries in a timely manner. In this blog, as well as explaining more about embodying your AI (Artificial Intelligence) through a robot, we answer some of your questions on how to use ARI and ARI’s capabilities.

Through research it has been suggested that physical embodiment (interactions in a body, for example a robot) has a measurable effect on perception of social interactions in socially interactive robotics.

Being able to equip robots with AI means delivering robots that are able to learn in a more similar way to humans. Researchers who are developing embodied AI apply this knowledge to robots and other intelligent devices.

For example, robots with sensors are able to collect data from their surroundings and learn from this data, as well as learn from attempts until they reach their goal. This can include aspects such as learning more about their location or distinguishing between different types of interactions. The goal is for social robots to learn to sense their environment and make decisions in relation to their experiences, in the way that humans do.

What can the social robot ARI do?

ARI is PAL Robotics’ humanoid social service robot specifically created for Human-Robot-Interaction and to perform front-desk activities.

ARI has LCD eyes with animations, which provide gaze interaction, supported by the movement of the robot’s head and arms. Through the robot’s gaze ARI shows interest – expresses emotions, and coordinates conversation by reacting to the user’s actions.

As well as recognizing faces ARI speaks in 30 languages, and shows information on the touchscreen on its chest for user interaction and multimedia content. ARI is equipped with multiple sensors and is able to generate data for you to gain valuable insight about your services following customer interactions with ARI.

What can ARI do ‘out of the box’?

Our humanoid social robot ARI is easily set up to control by phone app or even by joystick – this includes features such as talking, moving, waving, gestures, and using the robot’s LED lights.

  • Different languages are also available out of the box, depending on the languages requested by the user.
  • The social robot ARI’s screen can be configured with different templates out of the box – including the ability to display different contents and buttons.
  • ARI has WiFi capabilities and can connect to your facility network infrastructure and internet based cloud services.
  • ARI is available out of the box with the integrated Play Motion Builder letting users without any prior robotics knowledge easily develop complex motions for the robot to be able to reproduce later.

How simple is it to tailor ARI to meet my needs?

PAL Robotics’ social robot ARI’s expressive design including customizable features helps you choose the robot expressions and behaviour to meet the needs of your business. The social robot ARI comes with the following features which can be tailored to meet your needs:

  • LCD eyes, touchscreen, voice, gestures, general appearance
    • The colours of the LCD lights in the eyes and ears can be customised by the user and easily
    • An intuitive and user friendly web-based interface allows you to easily alter ARI’s touchscreen content, speech, and even create your own gestures from any device such as a smartphone or a tablet.
    • ARI ́s LED Manager allows you to easily tailor the robot’s appearance with a variety of colours, brightness and effects to fit your needs. Furthermore, as we design and manufacture our platforms in-house we are always ready to deliver the right solution for you, including ARI models in different colours.

How easy is it to use robot ARI?

The easiest way to use social robot ARI is through the Web GUI, a browser-based app that allows simple and customizable teleoperation, monitoring and customization of the robot, from its motions and gestures to the content of the touchscreen. Through a laptop or a mobile device you can use the web application (the Web GUI) to control ARI.

Does ARI have a high level of processing power?

ARI combines Intel i7 and NVIDIA® Jetson™ TX2 GPU, to allow enough processing power for your user developments and to dive into the limitless applications of AI.

Jetson TX2 is a power-efficient embedded AI computing device. It includes 8GB of memory and 59.7GB/s of memory bandwidth. The NVIDIA Jetson TX2 is also used for DeepSpeech requirements.

Whenever the social robot ARI is connected to the internet, the NVIDIA Jetson TX2 automatically pulls the new changes from the servers to update them, before starting its applications.

Which software does the social robot ARI use?

ARI uses ROS (The Robot Operating System) on Ubuntu.

The full list of ROS packages used in the robot are classified into three categories:

  • Packages belonging to the official ROS distribution, currently Melodic Morenia.
  • Packages specifically developed by PAL Robotics, which are included in the company’s own distribution, called Ferrum.
  • Packages developed by the customer.

When ARI boots up, the software required for the robot’s operation starts automatically.

On top of the ROS middleware, our social robot ARI comes equipped with a full set of software, easily usable from a web-based interface, to enable users, without a technical background, to get started right away with implementing social robotics in their environment.

How does ARI’s battery charge?

ARI can be charged manually or by using the docking station. Depending on the version you choose, there is the option to include a docking station that allows the social robot ARI to recharge itself automatically.

The docking station should be mounted against a wall, with ARI at a 1 meter distance from the docking station for automatic charging.

  • ARI comes with a 40 Ah Li-ion battery that provides eight hours of autonomy before charging is needed. The manual charger or the docking station will charge ARI in five hours from a completely empty battery to fully charged.
  • An increased autonomy can be achieved with a 60Ah battery pack, that will last 12 hours and will charge in eight hours.

Can I change the content on ARI’s touchscreen?

On the WebGUI you’ll find the Touchscreen Manager page. The Touchscreen Manager consists of a list of the pages to display and an online editor, where you can create pages using predefined templates, or load your own HTML files. On the Touch Web Manager you can also choose which of these created pages to display on ARI’s touchscreen.

With the easy-to-use software suite of our social robot ARI, users can adapt the content to their needs.

A young man touching the touchscreen of the social robot ARi

Can the social robot ARI help at events and scan QR codes?

QR codes help to track appointments, automate check-in at events, and direct users to specific websites. ARI scans QR codes through the camera located in the robot’s head.

At events ARI’s capabilities include being able to direct customers to different locations within the event space, displaying information to customers either by speaking or via the robot’s touchscreen, and providing general user engagement and entertainment. With ARI as a social robot, we offer the flexibility of multiple sources of information.

To read more about PAL Robotics’ social robot ARI and the robot’s capabilities and applications, including answers to further FAQs, don’t forget to visit our blog on robotics.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts to ask more about how ARI the social robot will make a valuable contribution to your organisation and help meet your business needs.

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