Overseas tourists in a future Ballarat could get information in their own language from a humanoid robot if talented Ballarat teens have their way.
Fourteen students from Mount Clear College, Ballarat High School and Damascus College spent two days this week programming robots to give tourist advice for Ballarat’s top five attractions in Chinese, Japanese, French and German.
The program was part of the Digital Innovation Festival.
“If you have a tourist come in who doesn’t have much English they could talk to a humanoid robot in their own language and understand the experience of what’s available at Sovereign Hill, Ballarat Wildlife Park, Kryal Castle, the Art Gallery of Ballarat and Lake Wendouree,” said Ballarat Tech School head Sofia Fiusco.
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Visit Ballarat industry and development manager Serena Eldridge spoke to the students at the start of the two-day event about the social and economic benefits of tourism and how to increase and develop the tourist experience, then returned to see the final reprogrammed robots.
“The robots have been programmed to listen and respond in those languages and to share information. We can use robots in a way that gives us more breadth because having those languages available at all time is something that robots can do for us outside of current resourcing,” Ms Fiusco said.
The language-based students also had to keep in mind the cultural differences of the different tourists and what that cultures likes in terms of experiences.
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