Teaching AI Robot Aussie Slang at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

April 9, 2018
David McMahon

David McMahon

I wrestle with marketing technology so you don't have to. In my spare time, I run a marketing group with 1100+ marketers helping each other to attract new customers and share ideas. You are welcome to connect with me here.

As marketers, we are always on the lookout for better ways to improve customers services and engagement, without overloading existing staff. That is the future promise of artificial intelligence robots!

Well, I can say the promised future is happening right now and it works so well with HubSpot.

However before I continue let me explain, I working with Ivan Makarevich a robotic specialist teaching Promobot (the latest AI robot) Aussie slang at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. While we have been doing field testing, hundreds of people have been wanting to take selfies and videos of the robot dancing and tell jokes to share on social media.


Robot Aussie

 Promobot helping shoppers at Commonwealth games


Teachin Robot

Hundreds of people wanting to take selfies


Teaching AI Robot Aussie Slang at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
Promobot stopping to print photos for people 

While this has been funny people wanting to engage with Promobot, my main focus is getting the robot to learn and understand Australian slang. An interesting surprise is just how many different ways Australians can say “Yes” like yep, cool, ok, sounds good, etc.


Promobot is a promotional robot


Promobot is built in Europe, unlike other popular smaller robots like the Pepper Robot, Promobot standing at 170 cm making it easier for people to interact without the need to bend down. With facial recognition and speech to greet, address people by name, ask them about their day, as well as tell them latest news. The robot has the unique ability to learn a vast amount of information about events, locations, products and services and relay that information in an interesting way to customers.

With a touchscreen and WIFI access, Promobot can access the internet to answer almost any questions may ask it. There are 200+ promotional robots already working in the US, China, UK, Ireland, Spain, Chile being used in shopping centres to direct people, banking to help with administration, hotel concierge and tour guide in museums, trade shows and conference events.

It can speak seven languages using Google Voice API and is designed to work in areas where there is a high concentration of people to help with navigation, answer questions and remember everyone that it has met.

Plus using built-in sensors it can move autonomously and for the last 18 months in an overseas shopping centre has been left to roam around on it own to seek and help assist people. Freeing up staff to focus on other more complex tasks.


What Have I learnt about teaching AI Robot so far


While I have a passion for all marketing automation, the first thing that I found powerful is the robot able to seek interaction with customers using the facial recognition software and greeting messages to start conversations with people. Promobot is different to other artificial intelligence bots like Google Assistant and Amazon echo as these bots wait for you start a conversation by saying “OK Google”.

Promobot is able to actively seek out engagement by using voice and facial recognition, combined with robotic movement to engage with people and change it’s agreeing responses base on sex and age opening up new ways to improve the customer service.


Teaching Robot

The robot is able to engage to people straight out the box without any programming. However from the marketing point view, you do want to make add details about your brand. This is done by using the cloud software to build rules to tailor Promobot for your business or brand.


The main rules types are


1. Start Message Rules - is a list of the robot’s phrases or actions that it performs with a certain frequency when no one interacts with it. These rules are used to inform customers about anything and attract the attention of people to the robot.

Once the robot detects a person’s face the welcome message rules are used.

2. Welcome Message Rules - is a list of phrases or actions that the robot uses when meeting a person using the face recognition feature. An example "Hi! How are you?", “Hi There, how can I help you?” or “G’day mate, do you like candy?”. There are two groups of welcome message rules

  • Unknown Welcome Rules are greeting messages to a person the robot has not met before and does not know their name. For example “Good afternoon, welcome, how are you?”
  • Known Welcome Rules are greeting messages to a person the robot knows by name (date of the last visit and can also be used in greeting). For example “Hello Sally, It has been 2 days since I last spoke you, how are you?"

3. Dialog Rules are used to change the topic of the conversation to better assist the person, updates on latest promotional offers, events or any other type of marketing message. This also helps to vary the robot conversation, as some people do experience hesitation because they do not have any idea on what to say. A great example is

Person: How are you?

Promobot: I am fine. + (Dialog Rule) By the way, do you like ice cream?

Human: Yes.

Promobot: Then come to our ice cream store!



More To Come


While there are many other features the Promobot is able to carry such as questionnaire, loyalist programs, advanced types of administration, data collection for lead generation and payment transactions. I will share more about that in the next blog post.

For now, I will get back to Commonwealth Games to help Promobot learn more about Aussie Slang.

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