Designed by Aldebaran, a subsidiary of Japan’s SoftBank Robotics Corporation; Pepper the world’s first humanoid robot is your emotional companion that can understand your feelings. Pepper has been designed around the idea of being a social robot rather than a functional one. So those of you seeking Pepper as the robot that would do dish-washing, cleaning or cooking then Pepper is definitely not for you.
Pepper aims to be your household companion who would listen to you, reads your emotions and respond accordingly rather than fetching you a drink. The purpose to build Pepper is to make people happy through lively interaction with its users.
Equipped with latest voice and emotion recognition technology, Pepper can predict how a person is feeling after analyzing his/her facial expressions or voice tone and can communicate back through different modes including voice, touch and emotions. Pepper has a screen mounted on his chest where he can display his emotions. Pepper can speak English, French, Spanish, and Japanese.
For Pepper to be your true social companion, he needs to understand your true emotions. Pepper interprets a particular situation using his knowledge of universal emotions e.g. happiness, anger, doubt, sadness, surprise. If you are laughing out loud, he will know that you are in a good mood. But if you are frowning, Pepper will understand that something is wrong. He would analyze your facial expressions, body language and the words you use to guess your mood and will try to cheer you up by playing your favorite song or dancing around.
4-feet Pepper the world’s first humanoid robot weighs around 28 kg (61 lbs) and has 3 omnidirectional wheels at the bottom that allow him to move around freely. Pepper uses a 3D camera and an ultrasound system to perceive his surroundings and human activity upto 10 feet (3m) that allows him to avoid obstacles and move freely in a given space. Tactile sensors give Pepper the ability to feel your touch and react accordingly.
In addition, a lithium-ion battery powers the bot with a battery life of upto 14 hours. Pepper is a smart robot as he can manage his own battery power by checking his internal temperature and if required he’ll automatically find his charger.
Available at $1,600 plus a $200 monthly fee for data and insurance, Pepper’s first 1000 units were sold within 60 seconds as soon as the company put Pepper on sale.
Source and Image Credits: Softbank