An incredible robot named Pepper developed by SoftBank Robotics Corp, the same company who’s released the NAOqi had been released for the consumer market a few
An incredible robot named Pepper developed by SoftBank Robotics Corp, the same company who’s released the NAOqi had been released for the consumer market a few years ago in 2015. Pepper is a robot which converses in at least 17 languages and supports over 200 apps. Pepper was sold out in mere minutes at launch, but what makes it so special?
Pepper stands at about 127cm and is equipped with an array of different sensors making him capable of reading human emotions and properly engages and steers the conversation based on what the robot senses. If the robot notices that the person is sad, the robot will engage into a conversation to try and cheer up the individual.
What is very special about Pepper is that “he” makes eye contact and tries to convey as much emotion as possible. Pepper learns from his mistakes and is expected to be in constant communication with the internet so that it can learn, improve and make better decisions with the help of the collective data. Pepper can do much more than simply converse, “he” can play with you using different apps, tell stories, and even contact an emergency number such as 9-1-1 in the event that something happens.
Pepper is used around the house for education and entertainment, to help care for the elderly and can also be used in business. Presently, Pepper is doing just that and is being featured in various stores throughout Japan, US, Dubai and other places in the world. At launch, pepper was sold at a loss for $1,600USD plus an additional $200USD for monthly insurance and data fees. The monthly fees were compulsory as part of the three-year contract.
Onwards to 2017… Pepper is still “alive” and doing very well. It is featured in some airpots and retail stores in the United States. According to official reports released by SoftBank, they pay off very quickly. Over 10,000 units have been sold already and SoftBank isn’t backing down even when competitors like Amazon’s Alexa making their debut.
Personal assistants / butlers are becoming more and more popular as 2016 proved. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, SoftBank, Facebook and many more are heavily competing with each other to try and get majority stake in the personal AI market, and only time will tell just how successful they really will become. For the time being, if you wish to own your very own Pepper, there’s no real price for it as their website has since revoked a pricing scheme and replaced it with a “request a quote” form. Likely, the pricing for the NAOqi and Pepper are determined based on whether you are a consumer, developer, or educator but this has yet to be confirmed.
The future looks exciting! Do you want a Pepper of your own?
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