Softbank Unveils Pepper, A Robot With Emotions

Ever imagined a robot with human-like emotions? Tokyo-based Softbank, in another technological leap, has unveiled a humanoid named Pepper that can decipher human emotions. Pepper will go on sale in February ’15, bearing a cost of around $1,900 (198,000 yen). Furthermore, Softbank has overseas sales plans but still no significant move has been initiated in the regard.

It recently made a stage appearance where it was singing and interacting with Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank Mobile. When Pepper touched hands of Masayoshi Son, the firm described it as a Genesis or ‘E.T.’ moment. Masayoshi Son said, “the aim is to develop affectionate robots and make people smile”. Pepper was jointly developed by Softbank and Aldebaran Robotics, a French based firm which produces and sells autonomous humanoid robots. Notably, Aldebaran’s 78.5% stock is also owned by Softbank.

Pepper’s Mechanism

Talking about its mechanism, Pepper is equipped with an ’emotional engine’ and a cloud-based AI for examining gestures, expressions and speech tones. It has the latest voice recognition program to identify voice tones. It has 2 touch sensors in its hands, 3 touch sensors on the head and 6 laser sensors along with 3 bumper sensors in its base. It also has 2 cameras and 4 microphones in its head. Apart from that, Pepper has Wi-Fi and internet networking capabilities as well.

Pepper’s Design

Design-wise, it has no hair but has 2 big round eyes. Pepper also has a flat display screen embedded onto its chest. It has no legs and moves on roller wheels but has moving hands.

Softbank’s Pepper joins the bandwagon of widely known humanoid robots such as Sony’s Aibo, Honda’s Asimo and Nasa’s Robonaut. However, it must be noted that Pepper is not designed to stay in critical environments and is meant to undertake small chores alongside us.

via: DailyMail