SoftBank’s ambitious android is touted as the world’s first robot that can understand emotions. Pepper is a humanoid robot that takes his surroundings into consideration to react pro-actively using proprietary algorithms. Pepper also comes equipped with capabilities and an interface that enables communication with people, including the latest voice recognition technology, superior joint technology to realize graceful gestures, and emotion recognition that analyzes expressions and voice tones. With these technologies, people can enjoy communicating with Pepper in a natural way, just like they would with friends and family. In addition, Pepper can make jokes, dance and amuse people thanks to a wide variety of entertainment capabilities, some of which were developed in cooperation with Yoshimoto Robotics Laboratory, Inc., a Yoshimoto Kogyo Group company. Capabilities that help Pepper evolve by learning through daily interactions with people are also being planned for the commercial launch timing.
At present, Pepper gets its smarts by connecting to IBM Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence platform, and Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing service.The idea is that Pepper would act as a concierge, helping with everything from locating products to bathroom directions. With a body and arms that can move in 17 directions and a head filled with sensors and doe-like eyes that are accented by colored lights, Pepper aims to deconstruct the cold-and-calculating robot stereotype.