First Look - Move Over ATMs, SIGAs Are Here!

Fall 2010
The fire engine red robots in Santander Bank can operate for up to six hours on a battery charge and are equipped with odometers, gyroscopes, sonars and radio frequency tags that detect their location in the bank.

Bored with your bank? Santander Bank in Spain has added Ferrari-red robots to greet their customers. The knee-high Santander Interactive Guest Assistants (SIGAs) show up once you step in the bank’s El Faro Visitors Center.

The robots, created by YDreams, a Portuguese IT company, operate on a proprietary programming platform. The robots roam the Visitors’ Center, which is covered by 12 radio frequency (RF) sensors that communicate with RF tags inside each robot. Each robot uses two RF tags, combined with a gyroscope and odometer to accurately map their location in the bank. Each robot has an array of 16 sonars mounted on their outer shells to help them from running into objects. As customers enter the bank’s Visitors’ Center, they go to the touch screen console panel located at the entrance. This console functions as an interface that communicates with and controls the robots via Wi-Fi. The console allows visitors to select their language of choice and destination inside the bank, and then commands one of the robots to approach the console, greet the visitor and guide them to their destination. Once there, the autonomous robots wish their guest a pleasant day and return to their holding cube. The robots have a battery life of up to six hours and know to automatically dock at the recharging station once their power supply runs low.

Now that’s customer service!