The sleek crimson droids, dubbed Santander Interactive Guest Assistants (SIGAs), show up once you step into the bank's opulent El Faro Visitors Center, located on a 400-acre financial campus. In the giant glass cube that serves as the entrance hall, a console with a touch-panel screen takes your destination and summons a robot via Wi-Fi. Then you're off, following your wheeled usher as it plays ambient music.
The SIGA robots operate on a multi-agent programming system designed by YDreams, a Portuguese IT company. The firm says the robo-butlers are one of the first applications of swarm robotics, the decentralized control of relatively simple machines, to a commercial setting. … Read more