To celebrate National Fried Chicken Day, Kentucky Fried Chicken is bringing founder Colonel Harland Sanders to the drive-thru experience as robot chicken-expert H.A.R.L.A.N.D. (Human Assisted Robotic Linguistic Animatronic Networked Device). H.A.R.L.A.N.D. is a state-of-the-art voice modulator system that gives drive-thru customers the experience they’ve always dreamed of: ordering from an animatronic Colonel Sanders head that speaks in the voice of Colonel Sanders.

H.A.R.L.A.N.D. uses speech recognition, artificial intelligence technology and text-to-speech techniques to transform a KFC drive-thru operator’s voice into the unmistakable drawl of Colonel Sanders. Because H.A.R.L.A.N.D. repeats whatever the drive-thru operator speaks, customers can have unique and interactive conversations just as they would with the real Colonel Sanders.

“What better way to celebrate National Fried Chicken Day than by ordering KFC from the Colonel himself?” says George Felix, KFC U.S. director of advertising. While only select KFC customers have had the chance to engage with H.A.R.L.A.N.D., everyone can listen to and watch the robot-chicken expert wish them a happy National Fried Chicken Day in this video message.

The convenience of drive-thru service has been around for decades, and not much has changed … until now.

“We suspect drive-thru designers are heralding the H.A.R.L.A.N.D. technology as the greatest industry advancement since the addition of two-way communication itself. Not only do we have a real person as our historic brand icon, but now we have the ability to bring that real person back as a real robot. The future is now,” says Felix.

The team at Funny Or Die recently demonstrated H.A.R.L.A.N.D.’s technological potential in this awe-inspiring video clip.

With more than 70 years of nothing-but-chicken expertise, KFC is the go-to destination for National Fried Chicken Day. Each year KFC sells approximately 400 million pounds of chicken in the United States, equivalent to 1.3 billion pieces. KFC cooks hand bread and freshly prepare chicken all day every day in every one of KFC’s nearly 4,200 restaurants across the U.S. Celebrate National Fried Chicken Day with KFC’s Extra Crispy chicken in a signature $5 or $20 Fill Up.

Created in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy’s design engineering group, W+K Lodge, H.A.R.L.A.N.D. is the latest example of KFC’s ambitious operations and marketing initiatives, following its Zinger chicken sandwich’s recent journey to the edge of space.

Fast Food, Marketing & Promotions, News, Kentucky Fried Chicken