E01 – Attract a customer

General description. The episode is focused on customer assistance in the context of the SciRoc challenge. The robot approaches a customer (or a group of customers) and provides information about the competition with the aim of convincing the customers to visit one of the episodes. The robot is expected to interact with regular customers of the shopping mall. Moreover, the robot should be able to handle the interaction with multiple customers. When the customer has decided which episode he/she wants to see, the robot must provide a description of the path to get to the proper location. Optionally, the robot should then accompany the customers to the first landmark in the path.

Platforms allowed. Any robot capable of Navigation, Perception, and Human-Robot Interaction capabilities can be used in this episode.

Setting. The episode takes place in one of the two allées of the mall, in the vicinity of one of the entrances. The episode starts with the robot placed near the entrance. Later the robot takes customers to the shopping mall area where the episodes are taking place.

Procedure. At the start, the robot must identify a group of customers and gather their attention. The robot should then approach the customers and starts a dialog aiming at explaining the episodes of the smart city competition. The dialog ends when one of the customers indicates an episode to visit or declares no interest in the competition. In the first case, the robot provides the directions, guides the customer to the selected episode area and greets him/her. In the latter case, the robot simply greets the customers. Customers will be chosen from the visitors of the competition. They will be asked to fill-in a questionnaire upon termination of the episode. The episode is repeated so that a number of successful interactions is reached (5) or a maximum number of attempts to approach a group of people is reached.

DH interaction. Type: data consumption. The MK:DataHub will provide static resources such as the map of the mall/arena and information (metadata) about episode locations. Dynamic information will be provided as well, for example whether an episode is taking place or not. The robot will be able to access this information through dedidated APIs.

Main functionality(ies). The main functionalities tested are HRI using speech, gesture and facial expressions.

Auxiliary functionalities. Other required functionalities are People Recognition, Navigation & person guidance.


  • Gathering the attention of a group of customers.
  • Suitably approach the group, using human- and social-aware navigation norms.
  • Successfully engage on a dialog with the customers on the competition.
  • One customer chooses the episode.
  • A path is planned to the episode area, and successfully traversed.

Penalising behaviours.

  • Touching any customer.
  • Misunderstanding customer requests.
  • Obstructing the way of the customers.
  • Bumping into shopping mall walls and/or furniture.