Today‘s banks are not attractive, due to the limited availability of banks advisors at peak times; the language and cultural barriers between bank advisors and customers; and last but not least, the fact that all people like immediate attention, and prefer personalised services.

What it does

Pepper is a robot with movement, speech and vision capabilities. Empowered by the cloud and a rich dataset, it reveals itself capable of providing a deep, customized, client experience. As such, our project revolves around enabling such an experience, with a prompt reaction to every customer waiting in a bank, improving customer satisfaction.

How we built it

The hardware is a Pepper robot by SoftBank Robotics. Using the built-in camera we recognise a person and identify them against our customer database in the cloud.

Our software is written in Python and Javascript and makes use of the following great APIs:

  • NAOqi API and Choregraphe to control the robot,
  • Microsoft Face API to validate your identity using a photo of your face,
  • CreditSuisse HackZurich API to store our customer data in the cloud

Challenges we ran into

  • Choregraphe uses a visual programming approach which was unfamiliar to us
  • Choregraphe seems to be rather unstable and many things cannot be tested in the simulator
  • Sloooooooooow WiFi makes cloud request a waiting game, and heavily limits the accuracy of face recognition, since higher resolution images are prohibitively large to be sent over this WiFi
  • As there were less robots available than teams working on it, it was tricky to convince Pepper to not run away
  • Pepper's camera is not very sensitive in light low environments resulting in somewhat blurry images

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Chaining together several different platforms, envisioned with different goals, and create a flow of data and algorithms that effectively solve a problem in a scalable manner.

What we learned

The marriage and back-and-forth of two different stages of technologies, like, in this project, Python and Javascript, present a significantly flexible and elegant solution for a myriad of problems. The auditorium is the best place to sleep in Technopark. We also learned that Zurich has over 1,200 fountains, most of them supplying water.

What's next for Pepped Up Bank

  1. Implement better, more personalized, customer experience, starting with careful treatment of private data.
  2. Take over the world. Robots are people 2, you know!

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