Silicon Valley Airport partners with AvatarMind to create new robot playground

Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) has debuted the new iPal Playground from AvatarMind, the first interactive play space featuring the iPal humanoid social robot, the company said.

The only installation of its kind in the US, the iPal Playground features AvatarMind´s new iPal social companion robots to play with, entertain, and even educate travelers–adults and children alike–passing through SJC. The playground includes a maze, as well as an interactive play space where visitors can sing, dance and talk with iPal, and explore the child-sized robot´s educational apps.

Located near Gate 25 in Terminal B, the play area also gives guests an opportunity to get hands-on experience with the robot and learn how to become one of the first customers to bring home their own iPal ahead of its retail availability in 2017.

Designed as an educational and safety companion for children, iPal engages children in active learning, social interaction, and fosters an interest in science and technology. iPal not only helps parents keep an eye on children remotely with its built-in camera, microphone and mobile app/web-based monitoring capability, but it also provides fun, age-appropriate, tablet-based educational content to supplement classroom curricula. iPal is based on the Android operating system and the robot´s 6-inch screen enables child-safe web and social media access.

The iPal Playground expands on SJC´s recent deployment of #SJCRobots, the airport´s new robot customer service agents that help passengers find dining, shopping, and other services while entertaining and engaging them during their travels.

AvatarMind was founded in 2014 by a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and robotics experts. The company specializes in artificial intelligence, motion control, sensors and power management technologies for the development of highly capable, affordable humanoid robots.

Mineta San Jose International Airport is Silicon Valley´s airport, a self-supporting enterprise owned and operated by the City of San José. SJC serves more than 10.8 million passengers annually, with 173 peak daily departures on 14 domestic and international carriers to 40 nonstop destinations.