About the MuMMER project

Pepper robot (Wikimedia Commons)MuMMER (MultiModal Mall Entertainment Robot) is a four-year, EU-funded project with the overall goal of developing a humanoid robot (based on Softbank's Pepper platform) that can interact autonomously and naturally in the dynamic environments of a public shopping mall, providing an engaging and entertaining experience to the general public. Using co-design methods, we will work together with stakeholders including customers, retailers, and business managers to develop truly engaging robot behaviours. Crucially, our robot will exhibit behaviour that is socially appropriate: combining speech-based interaction with non-verbal communication and human-aware navigation. To support this behaviour, we will develop and integrate new methods from audiovisual scene processingsocial-signal processinghigh-level action selection, and human-aware robot navigation

Ideapark -- image from Wikimedia Commons (public domain)Throughout the project, the robot will be deployed in Ideapark, a large public shopping mall in Finland: initially for short visits to aid in collaborative scenario development, co-design, and system evaluation, and later for a long-term field study in the 4th year of the project. Through our co-design approach, we will both study and foster acceptance of consumer robots and thus positively influence the consumer markets of service robots.

The results of MuMMER will take the following forms:

  • A co-designed interactive mobile robot with entertainment features and behaviours that is able to interact naturally with humans in a public space.
  • A set of concrete, detailed, tested use and business scenarios for a mobile entertainment robot in a shopping mall.
  • A set of success criteria and evaluation strategies designed to evaluate the success of the robot in its designated tasks.
  • A set of publicly available, reusable, state-of-the-art components for audiovisual scene processing, social signal processing, high-level action selection, and human-aware robot navigation.

The MuMMER project began in March 2016 and has a duration of 48 months, and is funded by the European Commission through its Horizon 2020 Programme.