Lower Lake Ranch is well known to those seeking a great venue to conduct a rustic Colorado ranch wedding (http://www.lowerlakeranch.com). So when legendary robotic research scientist John Twain was approached by his daughter about her wishes to get married at Lower Lake Ranch, some outrageous ideas instantly came to him.
You see, Dr. Twain’s daughter was also the Chief of Robotic Science at Twain Doll Research, the Latest Overnight Sensation which last year went in a matter of months from fledgling Silicon Valley upstart to earth’s richest producer of realistic robots for home and office.
Dr. Twain’s daughter Rebecca had fallen in love with Mark Lawrence, the Chief of Twain Doll Research’s Department of Biologic Emulation. Virtually everybody in the company was going to attend the wedding (over 150 people!) As much as a Colorado ranch wedding, this event was going to be a corporate outing.
And John Twain figured a way to make hay of it all!
Twain Doll Research was currently finishing the R & D phase of the Ambular-5®Model Personal Assistant Robot. The rustic and natural environment of the Lower Lake Ranch would be a perfect place to field test the robot and see if it could handle the real-life conditions at this famous Colorado resort facility.
Since Twain was going to hire a robust video crew to document the wedding, he could also have them closely document the activities of the robot and see how it’s neural network and artificial intelligence was able to handle the goal of mastering the environment and navigating about the terrain.
It was an adventurous idea (what would you expect from a man like John Twain?) to combine the two tasks of hitching his daughter and promoting his company, something the future bride and groom were also intimately involved in.
A Great Challenge
The Ambular-5® is capable of running up to 25 MPH on a flat surface and is also most capable at climbing up and down stairs, while able to traverse various thresholds you might encounter in a household or factory environment.
Always connected to the Cloud and receiving constant updates, it also maintains a great deal of on-board navigational autonomy. Walking the hills and dales of Lower Lake Ranch like a human experiencing a magnificent Colorado ranch wedding was going to be the ultimate challenge for an AI.
While most attendees at the typical Colorado ranch wedding that is conducted at Lower Lake Ranch would walk out towards the beautiful setting for the ceremony and be overwhelmed with the breathtaking mountain vistas in the background, the Ambular-5® would need to be instead concentrating on walking over a mild incline on a grass surface. Humans do it with ease. Robots, not so much. Mark Lawrence knew that he was going to need to tweak the programming on the unit as well as plan for the blessed day.
John Twain decided that chartering a plane was the best way to go. He found a service with a 737 from San Jose to Denver that could accommodate the guests, the robotics crew and the video team, all of which had a fair amount of cargo.
Two passenger buses would take the guests and crew to Lower Lake Ranch and a couple of limos would take the VIP’s (albeit separating the prospective bride and groom, at least at that point, anyway!)
The buses strategically arrived first and afforded the crew time to uncrate some gear and let the guests check in to their rooms.
While the video team had cameramen in both limos gathering behind-the-scenes action an additional cameraperson was sticking with the robot and documenting the technical aspects.
With a cameraman positioned in just the right place, the bride’s limo pulled up to the resort. There, spectacularly on cue was the Ambular-5® which walked up and opened the door to the limo.
It was absolutely everything John Twain could have hoped for both documenting his daughter’s wedding and promoting awareness of his business objective.
As Mark Lawrence emerged from the other limo, he could only be biting his lip in anxiety, not for the imminent plunge he was about to take in marriage, but rather as the robot was walking and balancing itself on the gravel portion of the driveway!
The good folks at Lower Lake Ranch are no strangers to planning and conducting Colorado ranch weddings! But having a robot in the mix was something a bit new. Rebecca was easily able to fill out her bridal party with software technicians, secretaries and the like and they all decided that possibly the best “person” to be the ring-bearer would be the Ambular-5®. So, right on cue 4 pm Pacific, 5 pm Mountain time, the wondrous ceremony began! With cameramen hiding behind every bush and trestle, the bridal precession came down the walkway. It was like a dream for the participants. While all eyes were on Rebecca, these people knew that in some part, this gathering could affect their jobs. The Ambular-5® did not disappoint! It walked down the grassy path on two feet carrying a pillow holding the rings with great precision! In a ceremony that lasted about twenty minutes, then it was off to the dining area.
The Ambular-5® doesn’t eat or drink, so in a pre-arrangement with the staff at Lower Lake Ranch, the robot was allowed to help with the serving in the capacity of a wine steward.
For this task, Mark Lawrence had created a special program to allow the robot to expertly uncork both wine and campaign bottles, a task which even humans sometimes have difficultly with.
Not so for the Ambular-5® which easily navigated up and down the aisles in the banquet hall politely asking the guests if they wanted red or white.
Once again, Lower Lake Ranch had hosted the perfect Colorado ranch wedding, this time with a flare for the future. All participants and the robot performed flawlessly!