It seems 1,000 people just need a little robotic affection. When Pepper, the robot with a heart, went on sale Saturday in Japan, the 1,000 available units sold out online in one minute, the Japan Times reported.
Designed by robotics group Aldebaran for SoftBank, Pepper is a robot designed to live and interact with humans.
With a cute, humanoid face and a screen on its chest, the little guy is designed to communicate and empathize using voice and touch. Pepper is able to analyze facial expressions, body language and words through its sensors, as well as adapt its behavior and mannerisms to suit the person it’s with.
The robot, which weighs 61 pounds and stands at four feet, has a lithium-ion battery that lasts around 12 to 14 hours. The robot’s base price is currently 198,000 yen — around US$1,613.51 — but data and insurance fees push the price up further.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said at a recent event the company will not make a profit on Pepper for at least four years, as the robot costs more to manufacture than its sale price, according to IDG News Service.
However, he may become a very clever companion indeed. “Pepper will become smarter every day by itself,” Son added. “Hundreds of thousands, million of Peppers in the future, will teach each other and learn from each other simultaneously.” Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments. Read more…