MuMMER (MultiModal Mall Entertainment Robot) is a four-year, EU-funded project with the overall goal of developing a humanoid robot (SoftBank Robotics’ Pepper robot being the primary robot platform) with the social intelligence to interact autonomously and naturally in the dynamic environments of a public shopping mall, providing an engaging and entertaining experience to the general public. Using co-design methods, we will work together with stakeholders including customers, retailers, and business managers to develop truly engaging robot behaviours. Crucially, our robot will exhibit behaviour that is socially appropriate and engaging by combining speech-based interaction with non-verbal communication and human-aware navigation. To support this behaviour, we will develop and integrate new methods from audiovisual scene processing, social-signal processing, high-level action selection, and human-aware robot navigation. Throughout the project, the robot will be regularly deployed in Ideapark, a large public shopping mall in Finland. This position paper describes the MuMMER project: its needs, the objectives, R&D challenges and our approach. It will serve as reference for the robotics community and stakeholders about this ambitious project, demonstrating how a co-design approach can address some of the barriers and help in building follow-up projects
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