Meet Pepper – a Robot with a Heart
Softbank, a Company in Japan, has launched its first Humanoid Robot in Japan this weekend. The robot named Pepper, shows and responds to human emotions. Pepper was unveiled on stage in front of journalists on 18th of June 2015. Softbank is planning to release 1000 Robots per month with 100 Apps available to download at the time of launch. Pepper has a special coding in it that can sense different human emotions, like joy, grief, even physical body movements. The price they put for Pepper will be 198,000 Yen, which is around £1000. Prof Sharkey of the University of Sheffield said, “SoftBank is hoping to make money from apps, but it is risky as it is not clear whether anyone will develop any for it.”
Pepper and Softbank also receiving some criticism as Prof. Sharkey mentioned, “It looks excellent, and I think that it is good at conveying human-like gestures – but the way it detects human emotions might be over-hyped, think that they are over-claiming on its speech functions, too. The conversations are very one-sided, and it asks a lot of questions.”
However with all these criticism Pepper could still be a good Assistant, especially to Elderly people as Pepper learns and adapts to the preferences and personality of its owner over time as well. At the moment Pepper is available to consumers in Japan only and is expected to launch outside Japan next year in 2016.