SoftBank - Humanoid Robot "Pepper" with Artificial Intelligence out for sale in 2015

In 2015, you could become best friends with an amiable and attentive humanoid robot, like the relationship of Nobita and Doraemon (minus the Yojigen-poket)!

SoftBank's CEO Masayoshi Son proudly unveiled their humanoid robot with artificial intelligence (AI) named Pepper today. The French robot developing company, Aldebaran Robotics, acquired by SoftBank in 2012 and part of the 'Softbank Group,' has developed Pepper for 2 years.

More surprisingly, it will be released to the public for ¥198,000 (which is equivalent to USD 2,000) in February 2015. We will be able to have our own personal humanoid robot at home for a very reasonable amount of money.

As CEO Son started his presentation with the sentence: "Today is a day of giving emotions to a robot for the first time in human history", Pepper is the world's first robot with an emotional recognition ability.

During the CEO's presentation, we witnessed the conversation between CEO Son and Pepper. It showed very well how natural the robot and human can interact. Pepper even made the audience laugh quite often:

Son: You are capable of recognizing human emotions for the first time in robot history, aren't you?

Pepper: Don't raise the bar, president. I cannot handle the pressure well. When I get broken, you should expect that I was crushed by expectations. Everyone, please write in an article that Pepper is not good under pressure.


Complete Event Gallery Here

Pepper is a 120cm tall humanoid robot. Although he is not a robot walking with two legs, he moves on a leg with wheels. He holds a display that looks like an iPad on his chest. In addition to his emotion recognition ability, there is a distance recognition function using infrared ray and a direction recognition function using a microphone.

Pepper quantifies human's emotions such as happiness or sadness and learns what is good or bad. For example, he will know that it's a good thing when someone is thankful to him or it's a bad thing when someone is unhappy with him. These quantified emotions are accumulated in the Cloud and he improves with this collective knowledge at an accelerated pace.

In addition to interaction with the CEO and the guests from the SoftBank commercials who appeared on the stage, Pepper gave a performance of his amazing skills like shooting photos, auditioning people, humming, rapping and a body-waving move.


Complete Event Gallery Here

The life of Pepper's battery is around 12 hours. This is a major improvement over existing bipedal robots, which, according to CEO Son, are capable of running only for 30 minutes to one hour.

Here's the rapping Pepper

The Chinese company, Foxconn, well-known as a manufacturer of iPhone and iPad, will play a role in the production process for Pepper.

Pepper also has an ability to install applications that external developers build. SoftBank is planning to hold a conference for developers sometime in September and provide an SDK (Software Development Kit).

How Pepper acted today was based on a scenario assigned by an application installed in advance. It's a bit disappointing to hear that after I was so thrilled by watching Pepper seemingly free-communicating. But, CEO Son said that Pepper will be capable of establishing 70-80% of a natural conversation.

Two days ago, Softbank sent out an invitation for today's event, which took place at the Maihama Amphitheater in Chiba, and the invitation had minimal information about what we could expect. In fact, there was a rumor that they might talk about their entry into the robot business, but who could imagine they would impress so many of us with this adorable and smart humanoid robot? It is certain that SoftBank is getting into some very advanced business and technology, and we haven't seen anything like this from the 2 other major Japanese telecommunications carriers, NTT docomo and au by KDDI.

Pepper will start working as one of the staff at both the SoftBank Ginza store and Omotesando store on June 6. He is a pretty interesting guy. You should meet him in person!


Complete Event Gallery Here

 

[RELATED]
Japanese Robots at AkihabaraNews

 

Source: 

Related Articles

ATLAS Robot Unboxing - DARPA Robotics Challenge

Ohhh boy, an unboxing video that’s not just filler, but 500% justifiable.

Takara Tomy introduced their new entertainment robot series OMNIBOT, and they are going to release the first 2 robots - Hello!MiP and Hello!Zoomer - on June 21.

Takara Tomy's new entertainment robot "Robi jr." will debut at Japan Robot Week 2014 that will take place from October 15th through October 17th.

Takara Tomy already announced the release of Robi jr. from their entertainment robot Omnibot series, and it is scheduled to be out on December 11th.

Reno J. Tibke - January 11, 2014

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week, well, they say dancing around screaming “I TOLD YOU SO!” isn’t very polite, but we will because SCHAFT Robotics' co-founder publicly declared J-startup culture moribund and is building his own investment fund, Nintendo pwned some patent trolls, and maybe, just maybe, SONY LIVES!

• • •

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Transformers film series, Takara Tomy is going to release fully posable Transformers Movie Advanced Series figures on May 17.

[RELATED]
Transformers at AkihabaraNews

Japanese Robots: Honda's UNI-CUB with a Civilian, a Smartphone, and an Escape (VIDEO) - AkihabaraNews.com

In its 18 public months, Honda’s semi-robotic UNI-CUB personal mobility device hasn’t seen a lot of the spotlight, but that might be changing; last week, here in Tokyo, we managed to capture some raw footage of a UNI-CUB test ride, smartphone control, and a rolling departure (VIDEO).

Yoriko Takahashi - June 12, 2014

SoftBank group is showing that it is really serious about the humanoid robot business.

SoftBank's subsidiary company, Asratec Corp. today introduced control software for humanoid robots - called V-Sido OS. They expect that V-Sido OS will be installed in future robots which will be introduced by many companies.

 

The high-end model of iRobot's cleaning robot "Roomba 780" will be available in 5 limited edition colors ONLY in Japan, starting October 28. It will be sold only on the official website and they are currently accepting advance orders.

Color variations are Champagne Gold, Cardinal Red, Passion Pink, Turquoise Blue, and Lavender. 100 units are available for each color.

Price: ¥79,800

...but Some Things, Once Seen, Must be Shared
Here at AkihabaraNews, we’ve dedicated thousands of hours to bringing you the best Japanese robotics coverage on the internets. Though our tone is occasionally irreverent, we take the topic quite seriously, and every robotics piece we publish has been thoroughly researched, correlated, connected, and responsibly journalismed.

 

Sharp has developed a health care support chair which combines a range of sensors for checking the user's health. It can simultaneously record your blood pressure, temperature, body motion, and pulse waveform, storing the data in the cloud.

SwitchScience has released the construction kit for a humanoid robot called RAPIRO.

RAPIRO consists of 30 plastic parts, 12 servo motors (2 per leg, 3 per arm, 1 for the waist, and 1 for the neck). Full color LEDs are used for the eyes.

You can assemble the kit using only a screwdriver.

Pages