The Japanese telecom multinational, SoftBank Corp. has announced earlier today that it is looking at the possibility of making Pepper – a humanoid robot, into a staff at a mobile store. Between 28 Match to 3 April, about five to six Peppers will help sell phones at a store in Tokyo’s Omotesando shopping district.
The advanced robot that is capable of understanding human emotions will interact with buyers, explain features of a phone and ultimately entice the shoppers into making a purchase.
During the one of a kind event, human staff will assist humanoid robots by checking for the customers ID’s, but for the most part, it will be the robots that will manage the store during the period.
The Pepper Robot is the creation of Japanese wireless network and Aldebaran Robotics – Aldebaran Robotics was acquired by SoftBank in 2012.
Launched last year, Pepper was developed mainly to be a friend for people. Before Peppers slip into their new staff outfit, SoftBank Robotics – from 1 February – will open the doors for its ‘Pepper for Biz Atelier’ locations. At four locations in Tokyo, Osaka, Aichi, and Fukuoka interested buyers can chat and discuss with the Pepper robot.
The multinational has also announced that close to 200 firms will be developing a software for its ‘RobotApp Market for Biz’ which will allow its clients to download app into Pepper directly. The app is set for a launch on 22 February.
SoftBank made the announcement during the on-going ‘Pepper World’ in Japan. The humanoid robot, Pepper has transformed into an iconic figure ever since its launch in Japan. Last year marked the launch of the enterprise version of Pepper, which as of now is used by more than 500 companies in Japan. The likes of Nestle and Mizuho Bank have also employed Pepper at various locations. The buzz around Pepper’s launch was so high that about 1000 units, which went on sale last year for $1600 were sold out in less than a minute.
Pepper was the brain child of Aldebaran Robotics, which is based in Paris, France and was acquired by SoftBank in 2012. The humanoid can not only grasp the plethora of human emotions but also deliver a suitable response. For the enterprises wishing to purchase Pepper, they have to sign a contract lasting for three-years and shell out $465 in order to take each unit on rent.