Sweet Guidebots Lead Visitors Around in Huge Spanish Bank

Have you ever been in a building so big that you couldn’t help but get hopelessly lost every time you tried to go anywhere at all? Apparently, the Santander Bank visitors’ center in Madrid, Spain is that big. But unlike American banks, Grupo Santander doesn’t want to laugh at you while you wander around aimlessly – they actually want to help you. To that end, they enlisted the help of a fleet of little red guidebots. You just find a bot, choose your language and destination on its touch screen, and your robot guide takes you right there.

The cute guidebots are known as SIGA (Santander Interactive Guest Assistants) and YDreams, the company that created them, says they’re the first to use swarm robotics in a commercial context. You can see the bots doing their thing in the video above, but just as impressive are the other high-tech tools the financial center has implemented. The augmented reality model of the Financial City is particularly mind-blowing.

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See more in Robotics or under Technology. April, 2010.