Rolling receptionist robot with double dutch dialog

Inspired by Star Wars’ R2D2, we are developing an even more advanced robot. R3D3 takes the form of a receptionist robot that can have an intelligent dialogue with the visitors of a museum, shop or office building. These dialogues are “double” in the sense that they involve a third party in the form of an avatar or a person shown on a screen by the robot. The R3D3 project, funded by COMMIT, addresses scientific ICT challenges in the areas of computer vision, spoken language interaction, and data processing, as well as practical challenges in robot development.


  • Understanding the intentions of a visitor in a specific context
  • Make sophisticated human-robot communication possible through natural language
  • Mining big data: from multiple speech data streams to detecting who to respond to
  • Develop a dynamic and social robotic platform

Unique Selling Points / Business Value

  • More humane technology
  • Better user experience
  • State-of-the-art human-robot interaction

Expected Results

  • Improved computer vision and behaviour analysis methodology
  • Meaningful interpretation of big data from for example shops & museums
  • A fully integrated computer speech and vision recognition system
  • A full functioning robotic receptionist
An overview of the parts of R3D3

How does it work?

R3D3 is an elegant bare bone light weight robot (see the design and first prototype in the pictures on the left), it consists of:

  • a rolling platform
  • a frame to hold and adjust its main communication device
  • a tablet or larger touch screen
  • a moveable head that visibly orients its sensors, cameras, microphones, towards you

Enter a shop and be welcomed by the rolling receptionist robot:

  • R3D3 will recognize you upon entrance
  • R3D3 might inquire the purpose of your visit and give you relevant information
  • On its screen, R3D3 will show an animated avatar face representing the virtual shop assistant
  • The avatar can give more information, or set-up a video call to a real-life person
A real life version of R3D3

Application Domains

Scenario development and testing of prototypes will be done in close cooperation with the three user groups involved in the project. The main application of R3D3 as a receptionist will be developed for these three different domains:

  • different types of shops (via iretail.solutions)
  • a large educational institution (Police Academy, University of Twente)
  • a museum (NEMO)

R3D3 has many other applications beyond the receptionist scenario. For example:

  • The Dutch Police could use R3D3 to receive citizens who come in to report a simple crime or offense
  • It can be used in health-care and monitor and interact with patients as well as facilitate remote dialogues with human caregivers
  • R3D3 technology can provide much added value to telepresence robots, which are becoming increasingly common in professional and educational contexts.

Project Partners