Japanese technology firm Softbank has unveiled an amazing new gadget, a robot that can interact with humans on an emotional level. Pepper is the ‘world’s first robot with a heart’. It is a humanoid-on-wheels that is designed for companionship and can decipher human emotions. According to its makers, this Robot can recognise and analyse gestures, expressions and tone of voice through an artificial intelligence program, or ’emotional engine’.
Softbank says that people could communicate with the robot ‘just like they would with friends and family’ and that it can perform various tasks. Masayoshi Son, chief executive of Softbank, said: “People describe others as being robots because they have no emotions, no heart. “For the first time in human history, we’re giving a robot a heart, emotions.” First robot with ‘a heart’ can read your emotions and dance like a human – said The Standard Digital News.
Pepper, the humanoid, is set to go on sale in Japan in February 2015, will cost about 198,000 yen ($1,900). It stands 4 feet tall and weighs about 62 pounds, is equipped with facial-recognition technology and a number of cameras, audio recorders and sensors. That technology allows the robot to learn how to behave over time, instead of being programmed for specific tasks, Softbank said.
The machine, which has no legs, but has gently gesticulating hands, appeared on a stage in a Tokyo suburb, cooing and humming. It dramatically touched hands with Softbank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son in a Genesis. The Robot is designed to help with everyday tasks, and could become a popular way to replace care for the elderly – who make up the majority of the population of Japan.
Softbank developed the incredible new robot with French company Aldebaran Robotics. Bruno Maisonnier, founder and chief executive of Aldebabra, said: “The emotional robot will create a new dimension in our lives and new ways of interacting with technology”. “It’s just the beginning, but already a promising reality.”
Aldebabra have released the first video of the amazing ‘bot in which Pepper shows off its dancing moves. ‘She’ can dance, sing, crack jokes and rap – but her Japanese makers Softbank and Aldebaran Robotics hope Pepper will also have a practical use when she goes on sale for in February 2015.