Costa hires food-waste consultant

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Costa Dolorosa
 Costa Cruises has partnered with Winnow, a London company that reduces food waste for hospitality companies.

The Costa Diadema is already serving as a lab for process improvements that will be implemented on all Costa ships in Europe and Asia.

On its website, Winnow said the hospitality sector wastes 600,000 tons of food per year compared to the retail sector (including supermarkets), which wastes 400,000 tons. Winnow said that on sites where it has worked for over six months, it has reduced food waste (by value) by an average of 65%, and that savings break even with Winnow’s fees in the second month of operations.

“Tackling food waste is a huge opportunity for the sector, and with the right tools can be transformative for the entire cruise line industry,” Winnow CEO and co-founder Marc Zornes said.

Costa trials onboard robots

Pepper robots are being used on board Costa and Aida cruise ships

Costa Group has signed an exclusive agreement with French company Aldebaran to use its Pepper robots on board vessels to assist passengers on Costa and Aida cruise ships. Pepper is the world’s first robot that reads main human emotions.

Michael Thamm, chief executive of the Costa Group, said: “With an emotional robot on board our cruise ships we are once again continuing our tradition of innovation. For us, this is an important step towards a digital future for our brands.”

Pepper has successfully completed a trial on board AIDAstella. The first batch of Peppers will join the crew and start helping on board AIDAprima and Costa Diadema in spring 2016, guiding guests when they embark and while on board. They will also be on hand to provide recommendations and tips on restaurants, events and excursions. They can communicate in German, Italian and English. By summer of 2016 the rest of the robots will be joining the crew aboard the Costa and Aida fleets.

Pepper was developed in Japan and is the first humanoid robot capable of recognising the main emotions and to take his environment into account and proactively act accordingly. Pepper is well equipped with features and a high-level interface for communicating with those around him, to move fluidly and analyse expressions and voice tones using the latest advances in voice and emotion recognition.

The robot measures 120cm tall and weighs 28kg. Its movement is provided by three omnidirectional wheels while a 3D camera detects people and their movements and it has a 10 inch touch screen.

Costa has unique ability to present Italy’s many faces

by Tom Stieghorst