How do you travel to a picturesque village in Italy, without traveling?

Italy’s premier beverage company San Pellegrino had an idea. With the creative help of an ad agency, Ogilvy NY, and a robotics expert, Deeplocal, San Pellegrino introduced the world’s first “robot-powered getaway to Italy”. It involved a pair of wheeled robots that were controlled by online users via the Web, and a skybot on top of a 40-foot pole that provided a breathtaking aerial view of the quaint village of Taormina, Sicily.

Each wheeled robot even had a “talking head”- an ingenious combination of a field monitor and a helmet, that displayed the online user’s webcam, enabling live interaction between the online user and the friendly villagers. As the online user Web-controlled the robot to stroll around the village to meet people and see places, the onsite assistant was there to help out the “virtual tourist”. The online users logged in with their Facebook credentials and waited in a queue to have a go at this three-minute virtual excursion.

For this one-of-a-kind interactive streaming project, Influxis provided its ultra-low latency streaming cloud service with a custom network deployment that allowed people from all over the world to interact in real-time. Because the project’s objective was to emulate real life interactions among people, the real-time communication between the online users and the villagers had to be smooth and latency-free. So, to meet this technological requirement, Influxis deployed its unique Influxis/CDN hybrid delivery solution for the project. Influxis also provided a custom ultra-low latency video player to live stream what the robot was seeing to the online user, as well as a custom Facebook-based broadcaster app with a built-in push-to-talk function for the online user to live stream himself to the field monitor on the robot, so the villagers could see and talk to him.

When San Pellegrino’s vision, Ogilvy NY and Deeplocal’s creativity, and Influxis’ expertise came together, the world got to experience a whole new way of traveling, without actually traveling.


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