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Hovering Tour Guides Make Travel Easier For Tourists of the Future

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Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras, was my first experience with a bustling city not uncommon like New York. It even has a "Central Park" that runs through the business district, and at the epicenter of the city. My love for my native land (yes, I was born in Tegucigalpa), runs really deeply within me, even though I was only there for a mere couple of years in my childhood years. I revisited Honduras again in my teens, and the love for the city stuck. Even through all it's beauty, I understand that there is a downside to a third world country, and that is the safety and security for foreign travelers.

I have kept up to date with the ongoings in my country by reading "El Heraldo" (the Herald, the city's main news publication). While reading up on the latest news, there is a rumor that soon Tegucigalpa will have robots to be travel guides to foreigners. Sounds like the futuristic movies are catching up to our society. Well, in search of more information and truth, I have found something I believe will help all of my travel readers in the future.

In 2013, four students of Mechatronics Engineering at UNITEC Global University at Tegucigalpa entered the second phase of Laureate Award for Excellence in Robotics Engineering with their project "Holographic Assisted Robotic Guide (HARG)" which qualifies the final proposals along with nine other competitors from around the world including Honduras, Malaysia, Turkey, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica, Brazil and India. The contest invites participants with the aim of encouraging students around the world to develop an interactive robotic system that welcomes, guides, and provides multimedia presentations to visitors at any campus network.

HARG is a robot that would project information through holograms and accompany people to tour the city. The robot includes a supplement called a quadcopter drone, which moves aerially to assist in areas where visitors have to go up or down slopes or steps.

"This project, undertaken by these four talented students, fills me with great satisfaction as it represents one side the knowledge acquired during their career Mechatronics Engineering, and on the other the initiative and creativity shown by the students to imagine a complex project that will require undoubtedly the greatest effort of each of the members, "said team advisor and teacher at the college, Paul Meraz.

Last week, El Heraldo "The Herald" in Tegucigalpa, Honduras released an article stating that the next phase of the project with the HARG robot would be to create a tour guide for foreign travelers to Tegucigalpa. While the HARG only speaks English at the moment, they are working on creating other languages so that International Visitors will have the same luxury when they visit the city.

In the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a robot drone that has the potential to take travel experience to the next level using smart phone technology.

Meet SkyCall, the drone that's your personal tour guide. SkyCall is instantly summed through an app on your smart phone, and it will give you a tour of your surroundings while taking you to your destination.

At the end of your tour, this greatly pleasant tour guide will send you a picture of you at your destination to your smart app confirming that you have arrived safely at your destination.

So there you have it, happy travelers, pretty soon every city around the world will have these very high-tech travel guides to show you around. Pretty exciting!

Until Next Time, Happy and Safe Travels,

Carol Lent

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