Saturn in Ingolstadt extends a warm welcome:

Robot “Paul” greets customers and shows them the way to the products they are looking for

Ingolstadt, 8.11.2016: His name is Paul and he knows the product range of the Saturn store in Ingolstadt extremely well. Paul isn’t a new employee, but rather a robot that drives around and can talk. He comes from the development lab of the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation IPA as well as its spin-off “Unity Robotics”. He was designed especially for use in the retail market as part of a pilot project. Paul is now demonstrating his skills in actual practice for the first time at the Saturn store in Ingolstadt and has been extending a warm welcome to customers since October 2016. He not only knows his way around, but is also a real gentleman.

The Saturn store in Ingolstadt is considered to be a leader when it comes to innovations in the retail sector. The latest technologies are constantly tested here. Customers and employees are among the first to test the innovations they will find later on at many Saturn stores in Germany. Now, they can look forward to Paul, who, as a digital receptionist, could hardly represent the technology store any better.
Service even up to the shelf
Paul meets customers and welcomes them the moment they walk into the store. He has a display at head level that faces forward and resembles a face. He asks customers what they are looking to buy and leads them right to the product they are interested in inside the store. You can even chat with him on the way. Paul turns out to be a charming partner to talk to, whether it’s small talk about the weather or some other topic. He leaves customer advice to his human colleagues, however, because they have more expertise and experience with products. He can call them over and ask for their support via Voice over IP. Before Paul leaves and goes back to the entrance, he asks a few questions to gain feedback on how customers like interacting with him.
Robot of the latest generation
“By deploying Paul, we offer our customers the opportunity to meet one of the most advanced robots in the world,” explains Martin Wild, Chief Digital Officer of Media-Saturn Holding. Paul is a Care-O-bot® 4, the prototype of an interactive robot that the Fraunhofer IPA originally developed as an assistance robot to care for the elderly. The new generation of the Care-O-bot® is suited for a wide range of applications in business. Saturn is the first customer of Fraunhofer IPA to actually test the Care-O-bot® 4 in a project. Navigation, dialogic communication and mimics were specified specifically for Saturn and implemented in cooperation with the companies Semvox and Phoenix Design.
A digital gentleman

"Paul is a very charming robot. His developers and designers have taught him human manners that make him a true digital gentleman,” says Martin Wild. Paul is also very friendly and responsive. He focuses on actually helping customers and assisting employees. Testing Paul represents yet another building block in Saturn’s strategy of developing the shopping experience even further by offering digital innovations. The project is initially scheduled for six months, whereby the findings from practical experiences with customers and employees will then flow directly into the further development of robot technology. “We are very pleased to be able to work with Fraunhofer IPA. I am sure that Paul will capture the hearts of our customers and make shopping at Saturn even more enjoyable,” Martin Wild concludes.