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Customer service robot on trial at Blenheim Palace

A five foot tall robot has been employed to help visitors to Blenheim Palace.

A team from Oxford Robotics Institute have been working on the clever robot, which is able to help guests when they arrive at the Great Hall in the Oxfordshire palace, birthplace of the late Sir Winston Churchill. Betty the robot is currently being trialled and is able to provide guests with information about the palace and its long history.

Doug McCutcheon, front of house manager at Blenheim Palace, said: "This is an extremely exciting opportunity both for us and for the Oxford Robotics Institute. Jointly our aim is to increase awareness of the potential benefits of robotics and artificial intelligence to society in general and also to provide our visitors with a greater understanding of this fascinating and fast-growing technological sector."

Whilst Jonathan Prince, a spokesman for Blenheim Palace, added: "We do have many priceless heirlooms here but the Great Hall is massive and is a safe place for her to be in."

And if Betty's trial is successful, she will return to Blenheim later this year.

Dr Bruno Lacerda, senior researcher at the Oxford Robotics Institute, shared: "Having Betty at the palace is a great opportunity for us to engage with the general public in a stunning setting. Betty shows how robots are now able to autonomously work amongst humans and allows us to illustrate some of the underlying technology we have developed with that aim."

Betty the robot is not the only robotic trial happening at Blenheim as the team at the Oxford Robotics Institute have also been testing a fully autonomous Range Rover at High Park on the Blenheim estate.

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