Who’s a better host: humanoid service robot Pepper versus a tablet kiosk

In this article we will discuss which technology is best suited for providing the best service and experience to your customers. A hot topic for facility managers who are interested in innovative technology. Let’s find out which technology is best suited for providing the best service and experience to your customers! 

The tablet kiosk: cheap, simple and easy to use

First, a little introduction of the tablet kiosk. The tablet kiosk is a solution designed to quickly check-in customers, gather feedback or place orders. You might have crossed a tablet kiosk before at an office, a restaurant or at a bathroom at the airport. The tablet kiosk is a cheap solution that is easy to use and simple. The question remains: is it exciting? Well, we’re not sure about that yet, but it is definitely practical. 

The always friendly robot Pepper 

Secondly, I would like to introduce the humanoid service robot called Pepper. Pepper is a friendly human-shaped robot which is able to communicate with customers. Pepper’s unique and friendly appearance can be a real eye-catcher for your organization. But is this robot also ready to take up the challenge to provide the best service? From my personal experience I can tell, Pepper is ready to welcome your guests in the most pleasant way!  

Robot Pepper already has some experience when it comes to providing a refreshingly good service to customers. You can find humanoid service robots like robot Pepper at municipality Alphen, in a hotel in Japan and even on a Italian Cruise Line! Pepper the robot is definitely a jack for all trades. The robot is very suitable for checking in your guests, collecting feedback, providing information and much more. In addition, the robot’s unique appearance will help to increase traffic.

Research: Tablet kiosk vs. Humanoid service robot Pepper

Mailaka Brengman conducted a research study in collaboration with the University of Brussel and a Belgian Chocolate House located at Brussels Airport (Zaventem) to find out if the humanoid service robot increases traffic and improves the customer experience. In this research study an experiment has been carried out to research the effects of a humanoid service robot and a tablet kiosk. The robot was located just in front of the store or in the store and visitors could participate in a quiz about chocolate. Participants received a taster and a discount code valid when purchasing chocolate in the shop. The impact of the robot is compared to a tablet kiosk where passers-by could participate in the same quiz. 


The expectation that the robot would lead to better results than the tablet is largely confirmed by the results! Let’s explain shortly:

  • First of all, results show that Pepper was clearly able to attract more customers to interact with. The robot was also able to keep the attention of the customer for a longer period, but this did result in less attention for the store. However, longer interaction times with Pepper appeared to increase the chance that participants actually entered the store, indicating that their desire or preference was triggered.
  • Secondly, the presence of Pepper turned out to convince more people to enter the store as compared with the tablet kiosk.
  • Last but not least, results show that relatively more people bought something after interacting with the tablet kiosk than with Pepper. Nevertheless, overall more unique transactions were registered and the average amount spent per consumer turned out to be higher during the period Pepper was present compared to the tablet kiosk and control conditions. 


The results confirm that using a Pepper robot for promotional purposes in-store is more effective than using a traditional tablet kiosk. Hooray! Congratulations on your victory Pepper! Hope you may book more success in the future as a robot promotor, robot host or robot receptionist! 

Interested in what a humanoid service robot can do for you? Contact me at dominique@welbo.eu and I’d be happy to tell you more about social robot solutions. If you want to know more about the research provided by Malaika Brengman, click here to read the full article.

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You are cordially invited to visit us in Amsterdam. You can experience Pepper’s hospitality firsthand. Also, you have the opportunity to meet our family of robots and their human colleagues.

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