Students jump-start hospitality innovation with Pepper the robot

Pepper the robot hugs a student

Rohit Verma, dean of external relations for the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, was laying out the ground rules for a one-of-a kind student business competition when a small, but crucial, participant unexpectedly chimed in.

Nine teams, Verma said, would have five minutes each to present their innovative ideas for how to make the best use of Pepper, an interactive child-size humanoid robot, in the hospitality industry.

"OK, is everybody clear?" Verma asked the audience of about 50.

"Great!" Pepper replied.

The robot's ability to interact with humans was the key to the students' proposals for enhancing the guest experience and optimizing hospitality operations. The competition, held at eHub Collegetown, was part of Entrepreneurship at Cornell's Celebration Conference, April 27-28. The teams vied for $10,000 in prizes, sponsored by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship.

Read the rest of the article in the Cornell Chronicle

View three short videos about Pepper

More Spotlights

Park Inn by Radisson INNovation Room SHA Team

SHA students win Park Inn by Radisson INNovation Room competition

Brad Wellstead, lecturer in properties development and management, is currently mentoring, tutoring, and facilitating four SHA students who are participating in the first-ever Park Inn by Radisson INNovation competition.

Read more »
Team YNot Bike being honored as winners of the 2018 Hospitality Business Plan Competition

Hospitality Business Plan Competition

The Hospitality Business Plan Competition provides an experiential learning opportunity to rising entrepreneurs looking to make their mark on the hospitality industry. This year's finals will take place Saturday, March 17.

Read more »
Gizem Kilic

Meet a graduate student: Gizem Kilic

"Cornell is my dream school. I have known about the Hotel School since I was an undergrad in Turkey. The school's reputation precedes it."

Read more »
GMP

Experience the General Managers Program at Cornell's School of Hotel Administration

Get a glimpse of the General Manager's Program (GMP) from the eyes of your participant peers and renowned Cornell faculty.

Read more »
taughannock inn

'04 Grad Overseeing Major Renovations at Historic Taughannock Inn

The Inn at Taughannock, a luxury boutique hotel managed by Hotelie Brian Simon '04, will be closing after Thanksgiving for renovations.

Read more »