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Pepper – The Robot Age Arrives

Robots have, for a long time, been considered to be something of science fiction, but no longer is that the case, because now they are set for release with a surprisingly affordable price tag. Pepper the Robot is an advanced development from the Japanese Technology market, and offers you a fantastic humanoid robot that has been specifically designed to live with people.

Pepper isn’t about to replace your workforce however, because this little robot hasn’t been developed to provide you with an assistant for getting the chores done; he doesn’t cook, clean and can’t do anything particularly impressive, but he is a specifically designed companion. SofBank have already put Pepper to work in their own stores, where he now greets and interacts with the customers, being a conversational expert Pepper understands more than 4500 words.

There are just a few problems for those who are sitting on the edge of their seat with the excitement of having your very own robot. First of all; Pepper is set to cost $2,000 according to an announcement from Masayoshi Son, not much really when you compare it to some of the other things you can buy with that sort of money, but still – maybe not the sort of cash you spend on a conversational companion, unless you’re human greet and meet team are particularly terrible that is.

Second; there has been no announcement yet on how long it will take for translation. For the time being Pepper understands and speaks Japanese, and although it is capable of not only understanding what you say but is also capable of recognising the tone of voice to identify emotions and feelings of the speaker in order to help understand the needs of the speaker. There is, as of yet, no announcement on when Pepper will be able to integrate those features fully with other languages, meaning that there may be a slight language barrier between you and your new companion in the beginning.

However, the technology is impressive, and aside from demonstrating an ability to hold a conversation successfully, unlike some AI programmes that can become very confused by the normal conversational structure of humans, Pepper can recognise when the topic of conversation has changed, come back to old topics of conversation, remind you of things you said or asked to be reminded of, recognise faces, voice tones, some body language (nodding, waving and head shaking particularly), sing, dance and integrate with a number of apps, as well as display messages, videos and more on the tablet type touch screen on Pepper’s chest.

Additionally Pepper is capable of learning more about you, as the robot connects to WiFi and uses Cloud it has access to worldwide information, allowing it to make conversation about news and weather, as well as learn new words and receive software updates effortlessly.

While this might not be particularly functional in a number of areas it has attracted a lot of attention in SoftBank stores and certainly gives a glimpse into how we might someday come to interact with robotics on a more regular basis.

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Monday, August 18th, 2014 by admin About Us

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