Japanese Robots: Pepper Gallery!

Japanese Robots: Pepper Gallery!

AkihabaraNews MICROCAST

This is Not Sci-Fi
Since the big public reveal in early June, 
SoftBank's been working hard to nail that point. This new robot, Pepper, it isn't another dream/research project that'll remain largely confined to a lab, then occasionally trotted out in public like so many ASIMOs. No, SoftBank wants us to know that this is real, it's "SFじゃない - Ess Eff jah nigh," a catchphrase used from day one - it means "This is Not Science Fiction." 

Editor's Note Just for Fun
We don't know exactly why the Japanese adopted the romanized "SF" as their Sci-Fi, but it's an easy guess. See, pronouncing "science fiction" in Japanese is an oral and aural mess: while just 4 simple syllables in English, it's actually 7 awkward mouth backflips in Japanese. So like, there you go. 

Pepper isn't Coming; Pepper is Here
As we recently shared on our 
Instagram feed, showing Pepper to the public hasn't been limited to SoftBank's flagship Tokyo stores, in fact tens of Peppers are already out and about around the country. SoftBank plans to begin offering Pepper to the public early next year for under $2000.00, and by all accounts thus far, it's not sci-fi.

Aldebaran Robotics, the company behind Pepper (acquired by SoftBank in early 2012), also has teams working to further the emotion-reading robot's capabilities, and perhaps much more intriguingly, plans to release a developers' kit and build an app store for Pepper. The former is great, the latter is potentially game-changing.

Pepper Gallery
We'll keep readers hip to Pepper-related news and developments, but for today we're just showing a few pretty pictures. From our home base here in the big, big city, Tokyo's Harajuku SoftBank store offers the best opportunity for observation and documentation. We did so last month, with some very special accompaniment. To quote ourselves:

"The two ladies...aren't mere civilians. ...On the right is our PR contact from GM Japan (Corvette, anyone?), and on the left is Dr. Angelica Lim, who specializes in robot emotions and is part of the Aldebaran/SoftBank team working on Pepper's UX and app development."

As was also said at the time, it was a lovely day for one robodorky writer. Here are a few sample images, the gallery link is just below!

Pepper congratulates the world for getting to 8:00PM

The ladies mentioned above

Pepper welcomes customers to a rather obscure, back-alley SoftBank shop in the southern city of Fukuoka

SCENE IN TOKYO: SoftBank's Public Pepper Performance
• SoftBank establishes new robot company SoftBank Robotics

Japanese Robot Tech News & Coverage

[A few photos were shot with an iPhone 5s, so blame Apple and the ferociously mediocre photographer, not the RX100!]


Related Articles

Sharp Launching Robot Smartphone "RoBoHoN"
A robot-style smartphone "RoBoHoN" will be released in early 2016. It's invented by Sharp and a robot genius, Tomotaka Takahashi. In addition to provide basic smartphone features, RoBoHoN is able to talk, walk, dance, and recognize human faces. It can also become a projector.
ATLAS is Coming for ASIMO - AkihabaraNews.com

Honda bills ASIMO as the world's most advanced humanoid robot, and taken as a whole, it’s probably accurate to say. But an American robot is catching up, and unless Honda’s got some new tricks (ASIMO X?), ATLAS is going to shove ASIMO aside and take his cookies.

Riding, Demoing, and Dismounting Skeletonics - AkihabaraNews.com

Getting in/on, Demoing, and Getting out of a Team Skeletonics Exoskeletal Suit
in a pretty small room)

Over the weekend we visited a conceptual capital, a Mecca of sorts, of super-powered, executive-level Japanese geekdom: Maker Faire: Tokyo 2013.

Reno J. Tibke - December 22, 2014

Autonomous Christmas 2014
Featuring drones, rovers, quadrupeds, robot fish, and a few completely novel forms of mechanical mobility, Autonomous Christmas proves that SuperRoboDorky science people actually do have senses of humor and plenty of Christmas spirit.
Robots are the New Mexicans and ActiveRobo SAM is Japan's Newest Mexican
Section A is our editor being furiously angry at robotics coverage and the corpsifying institution of journalism in general. Section B is some very interesting robotics news from Japan (telepresence robotic heavy equipment operation!). Section C is the bow on this wild ride robotics feature. Choose your own adventure(s)!

We’ve been in love with Team Skeletonics’ human-powered exoskeleton for years, and all throughout, it's pretty much been the same mechanical and aesthetic configuration. But it now looks like they’ve been refining in the background, and might be bringing something new out to play.

• • •

Dyson's 360 Eye Robo-Vacuum Arrives Late, and That is Totally Fine
This is really a high-end home appliance - as a product, more akin to a washing machine or refrigerator than a smartphone - and in this realm, a brand new line being six months late is better than on-time but undercooked. We see here some real competition for the company than currently owns the Japanese market.
Introduced way back in 2008, seven years after the Segway, Toyota's Winglet finally got to come out and play last week; practical trials are underway. Like the Segway (pretty much exactly), it’s a single rider, self-balancing mobility device. Toyota calls it a robot. Yeah... No.
Japanese Robot Movies - AkihabaraNews.com
Gymnast robot celebrates Tokyo’s successful 2020 Olympic bid with a triple backflip off the bar, and back onto the bar, industrial robots play with racecars, and a monolingual mini-humanoid speaks the first robotic words from the International Space Station. Three J-robots in under 4 minutes!

Yoriko Takahashi - June 11, 2015

Honda’s given us all a chance to satisfy the desire to build our very own ASIMO. It’s a great project for all ages, particularly for children with a budding interest in robotics.