Greek robot Persephone leads tourists though caves, speaks 33 languages

The multilingual robot is the world's first to be used as a tour guide in a cave.

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Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
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  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury

Persephone's first tour of the cave, with scientific director Nikos Kartalis second from right.


A robot that speaks 33 languages has become the world's first robot to guide tourists through a cave system. 

The Alistrati Cave in northern Greece began using Persephone, fittingly named after the Greek goddess of the underworld, in mid-July. The robot is able to offer information in 33 languages but is only able to interact in three.

Alistrati's scientific director Nikos Kartalis told The Associated Press he had the idea for Persephone after seeing an art gallery robot on TV. The resulting robot cost 118,000 euros ($139,000) to build, the report says.

In a translated Facebook post the Alistrati Cave management said the robot is part of an "innovation hub" which also includes a VR app and a classroom where students can learn about robots.

In other robot news, Elon Musk unveiled his own Telsa Bot yesterday which runs on the same AI used by Tesla's fleet of autonomous vehicles.