‘Pepper’, the humanoid robot that can recognize and respond to human emotions, has gone on sale this week in Japan. Featuring more than 20 motors and highly articulated arms, it’s being touted as a household bot for family use or for assisting the elderly. SoftBank, the company behind the robot, is planning to release 1,000 of the bots every month. They’re selling for a little over $1,500 or can be rented to businesses for $12-an-hour.
Although the up-front price is relatively cheap for a sophisticated robot (SoftBank is actually selling it below manufacturing costs), customers also have to pay monthly service fees circa $200 and sign a contract for up to 3 years. So far, there are 100 apps available to download on the device. No date has yet been set for when ‘Pepper’ will go on sale outside of Japan. (Which household chore would you most appreciate a bot taking over?) – BBC Technology.
Who is Pepper?
The latest creation from Aldebaran, Pepper is the first humanoid robot designed to live with humans. At the risk of disappointing you, he doesn’t clean, doesn’t cook and doesn’t have super powers… Pepper is a social robot able to converse with you, recognize and react to your emotions, move and live autonomously.
Engaging and friendly, Pepper is much more than a robot, he’s a companion able to communicate with you through the most intuitive interface we know: voice, touch and emotions.
Created for Soft-Bank Mobile—one of the largest mobile phone operators in Japan- Pepper is already greeting and interacting with customers in stores.
An emotional companion
To be a true social companion Pepper needs to be able to understand your emotions. If you burst out laughing, he will know you are in a good mood. If you frown, Pepper will understand that something is bothering you.
Pepper can translate what state you are in using his knowledge of universal emotions (joy, surprise, anger, doubt and sadness) and his ability to analyze your facial expression, body language and the words you use. He will guess your mood, and will even adapt to it. For example, he will try to cheer you up by playing your favorite song!
Pepper also can express emotions, and this is what makes him so cute! We can say he has a real personality conveyed by his body language, his funny gestures and his voice.
AN INTERACTIVE AND EVOLUTIONARY COMPANION
Peppers loves to talk with humans, he’s very curious about us! As you continue to interact with him Pepper will recognize you and learn new things about your tastes. Capable of both adaptation and self-improvement, he will soon be able to search for new applications to surprise and entertain you!
Pepper’s goal is to learn and grow step-by-step so that one day he can be your companion at home. We challenge all developers and creative minds to help us with this goal and make him evolve!
Pepper in your home?
Our goal at Aldebaran is to create robots for the well being of humans, kind robots living with humans as a new artificial species. In order to realize this dream, it’s not enough to simply have Pepper working at Soft-Bank stores. The ultimate goal is for Pepper to live with humans, the stores are just the beginning…