Pepper the emotional robot is the first robot with a heart. The 1.000 robots went on sale in Japan on Saturday and it took only one minute for the device was sold out. It seems that people are very enthusiast to find out how affectionate the humanoid robot is.
The Pepper project was announced a year ago by SoftBank, the Japanese mobile and telecommunication company. On June 20 Pepper was launched on the market at 10 AM and all of the prototypes were sold within a minute, each at the price of $1.600 (¥198.000). The additional insurance fees and monthly data amounted to $200 (¥24.600).
The robot with a cute face is designed to interact with people. Pepper uses voice and touch in order to communicate. Through its sensors the device can analyze words, body language and expressions. In addition, depending on the person who is around it the robot can change its behavior and manners. Pepper is not designed for physical tasks, its role is purely emotional.
According to Pepper FAQ the robot is meant to make people happy. It is an emotional robot, not a functional one which can be used for domestic chores such as vacuum-cleaning or dish-washing.
“Pepper will help people grow, enhance their life, facilitate relationships, he will have fun with them, give some services and connect them with the outside world.”
Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank, said that even though the robot sold so quickly it will take four years for the company to make a profit on it because the cost of manufacturing is much higher than the sale price.
Son also said that Pepper might be a clever companion. According to him the robot gets smarter on its own with every day that passes. In addition in the future, when there will be hundreds of thousands or millions of Peppers, the robots will learn from each other simultaneously.
It seems that the cute robot will develop its own personality depending on how humans interact with it. If Pepper is not given enough attention it might become irritable, but will turn happy when you spend time with it.
The company intends to produce 1.000 such robots per month and the next round is planned to be launched in July in Japan. SoftBank is considering to launch “Pepper for Biz” in autumn, but more details will be available in July. It seems that in some Japanese stores Pepper was already used to sell coffee machines.
Image Source: UPI