Softbank is building a robot that has emotional intelligence


Japanese telecommunications giant Softbank is building a personal robot that has the ability to respond to human emotions. The personal robot is known as “Pepper.” Pepper can analyze gestures, expressions, and voices using a cloud-based artificial intelligence system.

Softbank is expecting to fully launch Pepper by February 2015. Pepper’s behavior will evolve based on its daily interactions with people.

“For the first time in human history, we’re giving a robot a heart, emotions,” stated Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank.

Pepper is four feet tall and weighs 63 pounds. Its battery can last up to 12 hours on a single charge.

Pepper was created by Frace-based Aldebaran Robotics. Softbank acquired Aldebaran for $100 million in 2012. Aldebaran is also known for developing the Nao humanoid robots.

Softbank will be selling Pepper in its retail stores and online for ¥198,000 (around $1,950), starting in February 2015. It will launch in Japan first and will expand to international markets after that.

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