On March 23rd and 24th of 2019, in cooperation with Daimler AG (CoC IT Treasury), we worked on the Proof of Concept “Neo meets Pepper” for our “Heldenweekend” – in other words, our team-internal hackathon. Daimler CoC IT Treasury is responsible for providing high-availability IT solutions to support core Treasury operations, such as payments and financing. In addition to innovative blockchain projects, the CoC IT Treasury gathers experience with AI, especially Pepper, in order to realize valuable business use cases for the treasury department.
Pepper, the friendly humanoid
The humanoid robot “Pepper” was designed and developed by the French company Aldebaran Robotics SAS and the Japanese telecommunications and media group SoftBank Mobile Corp. As a personal and friendly robot, Pepper accompanies people by reacting to their facial expressions, gestures and emotional states. In contrast to industrial robots, Pepper is a very informative and communicative robot and scores above all with its appearance and its “empathy for humans”. Currently, Pepper is mainly used in sales, at receptions, in health care and in education – most of the time as a kind of “showcase”.
Get Started: Access to Pepper
Before we could head for Neo with Pepper, we first had to get access to Pepper. For this we registered on the website of Pepper. The website also gives access to Pepper’s Wi-Fi status, language, settings, etc. You can ask Pepper for the IP address or you briefly press the power switch under the tablet once. To manage robots – in our case Pepper – and to add standard applications and updates, the Aldebran Cloud can be used. Go to cloud.aldebaran-robotics.com and log in with the appropriate account. Then you have to sign up with Pepper in the settings on the tablet or on the above website with your own Aldebaran account. To work with Pepper, the following steps are necessary:
- Registration at https://community.ald.softbankrobotics.com/en/resources/software/language/en-gb.
- The Pepper Software Suite needs to be downloaded. The license can be used for the installation.
- Python 2.7 from Python.org is to be installed. Make sure that Python is used from /usr/local/bin/python and not /usr/bin/python.
- The Choregraphe Suite (http://doc.aldebaran.com/2-4/software/choregraphe/installing.html) is to be installed.
Business Use Cases for Pepper by DaimlerCoC IT Treasury
We have received a list of 9 business use cases from Daimler CoC IT Treasury, which includes potential uses of Pepper for Daimler CoC IT Treasury.
- Feedback and Queries: How was your day today? How was the parking situation today? Including privacy details so that participants can accept the feedback process.
- Face detection: Accept face recognition
- News and Information: Tell me something new. Treasury news (including Google News, Handelsblatt)
- Qualification and Training: Train me. Would you like to send me you the link to the course?
- Tests: Perform certain tests (e.g. cybersecurity)
- Tickets: Creating tickets for the IT department. Option to email the ticket
- Treasury and Live Data: Live Market Data API (e.g. Reuters, Bloomberg)
- Welcome and Intro: I’m Pepper the robot, I can help you with the following topics: How are you? How can I help you? Take a look at my functions. Here is a floor plan. Do you want a taxi?
- Youtube channel: For example, Youtube channel for Treasury broadcast
Pepper powered by Neo
After Pepper was connected, we were able to devote ourselves to the actual goal – heading Neo on Pepper within a weekend. One Team, 8 People, 1 Pepper, 9 Business Use Cases in 18 Hours: Challenge accepted! 💪
Heldenweekend aka Hackathon
The Heldenweekend is an internal event format of Neohelden GmbH. With the help of various event formats (including Heldenweekend and Heldenweek), all Neohelden have different frameworks to try out new technologies and novel approaches. This takes place in a pleasant and relaxed environment; Catering, music and small activities are provided. Participation in all Neohelden event formats is voluntary, so there are no obligations and expectations.
The Heldenweekend is a kind of Hackathon, which has the goal to realize one or more tasks in the team within two days . All Neohelden can participate – regardless of whether the Neoheld is located in tech, marketing, sales, or anywhere else – so that in the best case an interdisciplinary team works together. Our Heldenweekend on the 23rd and 24th of March started with a “Weißwurstfrühstück” before we dedicated ourselves to a very exciting challenge: Neo on Pepper.
The Neo Enterprise Assistant Platform in use
For the 9 business use cases of Daimler Co IT Treasury, we have created 9 intents (an intent represents an action that meets a user request) in our Neo Conversation Engine to drive Pepper on this basis. The intents are triggered with different Utterances/Expressions ( Utterances/Expressions are a set of phrases that are assigned to the respective intentions). In the beginning, we deposited a Utterance/Experience for each Intent, so on this basis we mapped the workflows in the Neo Workflow Engine for Pepper.
While we didn’t implement 9 business use cases as part of our hero’s weekend, 7 out of 9 is not that bad. 😉
Outlook: Neo will be available on Pepper in the future
The results of the Heldenweekend have confirmed our intention to implement various business use cases on Pepper with the help of our digital assistant “Neo”. Within a weekend, we were able to implement 7 relevant business use cases on Pepper with the Neo Enterprise Assistant Platform – although with a prototype level, but sufficient for demonstration purposes. What does that mean for the future of Neo? With Pepper, a completely new and extensive field of application opens up, to which we will devote ourselves successively: robotics.
If the intelligent control and expansion of Pepper, Nao or another robot is interesting for you, we would gladly support you and your company. With the help of our digital assistant “Neo” we can expand your selected robot with different business use cases. Let us discuss your use cases.