SoftBank, a technology company, plans on selling “Pepper” this upcoming Saturday in Japan. Pepper is a robot programmed to comprehend human emotions.
The robot has a hairless head and beady, intelligent eyes. It has no legs; rather, it rolls around on wheels. And not only can it understand human feelings, but also can respond with its own display of emotions such as irritation, anger, and joy.
On Thursday, June 18th, Pepper was shown to guests and reporters in a Tokyo theater. It wheeled onstage and talked with celebrities, sang and danced, and even showed off its ability to take photos. What’s more, it became joyous when it was petted and praised.
Global sales are still in the planning stages. Two companies, Foxconn of Taiwan and Alibaba Group of China, have partnered up with SoftBank and provided a total of $240 million to help with manufacturing and software development. Global sales are expected to occur sometime next year.
Currently, each Pepper unit costs $1,600. Additionally, a monthly service fee of $120 is also required, as well as insurance priced at $80 per month.