Talking about Softbank and Masayoshi Son earlier… “Pepper” will be the world’s first personal robot thatcan read emotion, incorporates a variety of technologies and capabilities and will be commercially available in Japan from SoftBank Mobile.

Softbank said on Thursday, 5th of June that Pepper will go on sale in Japan in February 2015 for 198,000 yen (S$2,417) (Overseas sales plans are under consideration but still undecided).

Pepper has been programmed to read the emotions of people around it by recognizing expressions and voice tones, and to make people smile. Besides featuring the latest voice recognition, Pepper is loaded with more than a dozen sensors, including two touch sensors in its hands, three touch sensors on its head, and six laser sensors and three bumper sensors in its base.

It also has two cameras and four microphones on its head and has Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking capabilities. Up close, it bears a resemblance to C-3PO in “Star Wars,” especially in its clueless look.

But a demonstration this Friday at a Softbank retailer in Tokyo highlighted the robot’s shortcomings as much as its charm.

I have a few ones:
– The Voice recognition takes a while to kick in, when its eyes light up in a listening mode after the robot stops talking, making for less than spontaneous dialogue (similar to the frustration I have talking with my iPhone’s Siri….)
– His voice is too high pitch for me (e.g not natural enough at my taste)
– Design could be improved, very personal here …but I think Robi and Kirobo are cuter.

Which leads me to write a second post dedicated to my favourite two robots: Robi and Kirobo

Sorry Pepper, you’re not my one.

Source: AP, Todayonline


You can watch another video introducing Pepper here