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Your very personal tour guide, Prof. CERNikus

Inspiration

Just think about the apps you use the most. In the century of communication don't stick to boring E-Mails and unpersonalised web experiences. Make a more tight bond with customers by giving them an assistant who always listens and not only talks (in form of push notifications without the possibility to reply).

Imagine a world where you can talk to anyone, anytime the way you want. We are used communicating like this between people, but not with software. This can and will change, we can show you how.

What it does

Our assistant Professor CERNikus guides and entertains you while you visit CERN. The large particle accelerator facility. He adjusts to your needs and tells you background information in a charming and inventive way. His personality resembles a professor who has worked and educated at CERN for a very long while. Give him a chance, you won't regret it. We can transform the way we deal with queues, information, appointments and overall customer experiences.

The bot can in principle distribute and guide visitors at CERN at a per person basis. The acquired location data can be used to optimize the overall flow. This is not implemented yet, but is feasable. The per user session character of a chat makes monitoring, guidance and tracking very easy.

How we built it

We didn't want to provide a monolithic solution, we focused on staying as platform independent as possible. Our target users were users of all mobile devices and of all ages. Therefore we created a chatbot with HUBOT. Hubot is a framework which allows you to create your own chatbot for Skype, Telegram, Facebook Messenger and Slack and many more at the same time. All with the same code. Our slogan is: Solution are more important than problems.

We use location tracking provided in the messenger to give you insights on the objects around you. Just send your location, you will see.

You can ask or dictate him questions, he will try to answer. If the CERN database is not enough, he will fall back to Wikipedia.

Challenges we ran into

Hubot is a very generic framework. As we tested in Telegram and wanted the bot to be as "cool" as possible we sometimes ran into problems, that HuBot could not utilize the complete Telegram functionality. This was often frustrating, but we could happily always find some workarounds

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We feel like Professor CERNikus is a new friend of us Hopefully he will excite visitors at the biggest machine on earth - CERN

What we learned

Start small, think big

What's next for REBOT

We will continue to work on this idea. We have so many other applications of customer tailored assistants. We could shorten telephone waiting times, we could help people get an appointment at the doctors, the hairdresser or a restaurant. We use the most used platform worldwide (Messengers) and we are sure we will one day communicate with robots like we communicate with people.

Bots could organize your appointments, search the web for you, give you the information you really need, are always listening to you and bots can have a personality! Marketing companies could use this to make their company appear youthful, energetic or charming. Every company could have its "image" in form of a KI which really knows. you. Forget broadcast newsletters.

There's still a lot to be done. But it's worth it.

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