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Find Love With Robots

Pepper, the first robotic emotional companion
Find Love With Robots © 2017 Softbank

On Saturday, Pepper, “the robot with a heart”, went on sale in Japan, and sold out in one minute.

On Saturday, Pepper, “the robot with a heart”, went on sale in Japan, and sold out in one minute.

Although there were only 1,000 units available, it’s still pretty impressive. Apparently, robotic affection is in high demand in Japan.

Pepper was designed by robotics group Aldebaran for SoftBank, and was created purposely to interact with humans, in fact, it’s being heralded as “the first humanoid robot designed to live with humans”.

Standing four feet tall, and weighing 61 pounds, Pepper has a humanoid face and a screen on its chest, to help communicate and empathize using voice and touch. The current lithium-ion battery lasts between 12-14 hours. Pepper can analyze facial expressions, body language and actual spoken words through its sensors. When Pepper sees a frown, he will understand something is wrong, when he hears someone laugh, he understands that person is in a good mood.

Not only can he guess your mood, but Pepper can adapt to it. Equipped with many different responses, Pepper will try to cheer up a moody human by playing a favorite song. 

Not only can he guess your mood, but Pepper can adapt to it. Equipped with many different responses, Pepper will try to cheer up a moody human by playing a favorite song.

Obviously, Pepper is so in touch with other people's emotions, it can communicate it’s own as well! Pepper has a real personality that uses body language, funny gestures and voice.

The marketing point is that apparently Pepper adapts, day by day, so it can be the best "Pepper will become smarter every day by itself," SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son stated. "Hundreds of thousands, million of Peppers in the future, will teach each other and learn from each other simultaneously."

Pepper’s base price was 198,000 yen (somewhere near to US $1, 615) but after extras, insurance, and data fees, it’s a bit more expensive. According to Son, however, the company won’t be making a profit for the next four years at least, because apparently Pepper costs more to manufacture than the sale price.



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