Japanese Robot Pepper Coming to United States

SoftBank_pepperJacob Newberger studied mechanical engineering at Pennsylvania State University. An automation validation engineer with Panacea Technologies, Jacob Newberger maintains a strong interest in the domestic robot industry.

The Japanese domestic robot Pepper is set to make its American debut in the near future. During the robot’s initial release in Japan, Pepper was billed as the first robot capable of communicating with and understanding the emotions of humans. The first 1,000 units sold out in Japan less than one minute after hitting the public market.

Developed by SoftBank Mobile and Aldebaran Robotics, Pepper stands just under 4 feet tall and moves on a set of rollers. The design features a set of cameras and sensors that allow Pepper to detect and interpret a variety of human facial expressions. Through a permanent link to cloud storage, Pepper can immediately draw on past experiences and can even learn new skills to aid in its verbal communications with people. Pepper is currently being used by Nescafé and SoftBank in Japan as a professional assistant. Designers plan to adjust the model’s personality to better fit American audiences before Pepper receives an official US release.