The Future of Robotics Sure is Creepy

Meet Pepper, An Emotionally Intelligent Robot

Head Image
© 2017 Softbank

Meet Pepper, the robot with scarily human capabilities. Today, japanese telecom giant Softbank unveiled the newest addition to their stores, who will also go on sale to the public next year for an estimated 1420 Euro. Not only does she talk, make jokes, dance and even look after your baby, but at 4 feet (1.22m) tall and just over 60lbs (27 kg), she reminds us eerily a lot of a young child.

Her highly talked about ‘emotional engine’ is due to clever voice recognition software acquired from French robotics company Aldebaran, which is able to not just understand your words, but also how you are feeling when you say them; only adding to Pepper’s human-like capabilities. Thankfully, the 10.1inch touch display on her chest which syncronises with the internet reminds us that this is a computer.

Image: © 2014 Aldebaran

Pepper can ‘learn’ new behaviors and better perfect known ones.

A further feature which you might either find cool, or scary, depending on your viewpoint is Pepper’s learning capabilities. The robot is constantly connected to the cloud, giving it access to huge amounts of data from which it can ‘learn’ new behaviors and better perfect known ones.

Luckily for us, should Pepper decide to rebel against its human masters, it can only move at a rather slow 2km per hour. In addition, after 12 hours it will exhaust its battery supplies, once and for all proving that humans are the superior species.

Aldebaran hopes that an upgraded version of the robot will be available to customers in 2015. To help develop programs for the Pepper and make it yet smarter (and creepier), they are currently distributing a software development kit (SDK) to interested programmers.