Make Friends with iPal™ at Silicon Valley Airport's New Robot Playground

Singing, Dancing, Maze-Running Robots Entertain and Educate San Jose Travelers through New Partnership with AvatarMind

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In true Silicon Valley fashion, Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is giving travelers a modern way to enjoy the wait at the boarding gate with the debut of the new iPal™ Playground, the first interactive play space featuring the iPal humanoid social robot.

The only installation of its kind in the U.S., the iPal Playground features AvatarMind's new iPal social companion robots to play with, entertain and even educate travelers—adults and children alike—passing through SJC. The playground includes a maze, as well as an interactive play space where visitors can sing, dance and talk with iPal, and explore the child-sized robot's educational apps.

"SJC is well-known as the 'gateway' to Silicon Valley, and the iPal Playground gives travelers exactly the type of high-tech, innovative experience they expect from the state-of-the-art facility," said John Ostrem, Ph.D., CEO of AvatarMind.

The play area also gives guests an opportunity to get hands-on experience with the robot and learn how to become one of the first customers to bring home their own iPal ahead of its retail availability in 2017.

Designed as an educational and safety companion for children, iPal engages children in active learning, social interaction, and fosters an interest in science and technology. iPal not only helps parents keep an eye on children remotely with its built-in camera, microphone and mobile app/web-based monitoring capability, but it also provides fun, age-appropriate, tablet-based educational content to supplement classroom curricula and gives kids a leg up in school. iPal is based on the Android operating system and the robot's 6-inch screen enables child-safe web and social media access, enabling children to chat with friends, share videos and more without risk.

The iPal Playground expands on SJC's recent deployment of #SJCRobots, the airport's new robot customer service agents. #SJCRobots help passengers find dining, shopping and other services while entertaining and engaging them during their travels.

"We are transforming the customer service experience for travelers at SJC, giving them the innovative, next-generation experience they'd expect from a world-class air travel hub," said SJC's Director of Aviation Kim Becker. "The iPal Playground provides young travelers—and the young at heart—a fun and active outlet from the sedentary nature of travel, and a chance to stretch their legs and their imaginations."

The iPal Playground is located near Gate 25 in Terminal B.

To learn more about the iPal social companion robot, visit

About AvatarMind
AvatarMind was founded in 2014 by a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and robotics experts. The company specializes in artificial intelligence, motion control, sensors and power management technologies for the development of highly capable, affordable humanoid robots. To learn more, visit

About Mineta San Jose International Airport
Mineta San Jose International Airport is Silicon Valley's airport, a self-supporting enterprise owned and operated by the City of San José. SJC serves more than 10.8 million passengers annually, with 173 peak daily departures on 14 domestic and international carriers to 40 nonstop destinations. For more airport information, visit


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