Shake Hands with Pepper, the Robot Made to Recognize Emotions and Give You Company

June 9, 2014, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Loneliness is something everyone of you out there might have encountered some time or the other. These are the times you wish someone was there with you to give you company.

However, it’s not necessary that your friend or close ones will be there with you always.

Talking about company, how about having the company of a robot? Yes, one which can recognize human emotions!

Japanese firm Softbank, which specialises in telecoms and the internet, has now unveiled a robot named Pepper for human companionship.


The machine, which does not have legs, has got hands. With the hands, it gestures too. Pepper is a 48-inches tall, 62-lb white robot, which has two large doll-like eyes and a flat-panel display on its chest.

Pepper is bald, and has been programmed to read the emotions of people around it by recognising expressions and tone of voice.

Softbank developed Pepper jointly with Aldebaran Robotics, which designs, produces and sells autonomous humanoid robots. Going by what Softbank chief executive Masayoshi Son has said, the company’s aim is to develop affectionate robots that can make people smile.

Pepper gathers information from cloud-based databases and comes pre-installed with safety features so as to avoid crashes and falls, and its capabilities can be improved by installing more robot applications, according to Softbank.

It is installed with the latest voice recognition software, and besides that more than a dozen sensors, including two touch sensors in its hands, three on its head, and six laser sensors and three bumper sensors in its base are also part of Pepper.


Further still, the robot comes sporting two cameras and four microphones on its head for communicative actions and is spruced up with Wi-Fi and Ethernet for networking options.

The company said Pepper will go on sale in Japan in February for 198,000 yen (€1,416), and overseas sales seem to be undecided yet.

Pepper, the Japanese creation, adds one more from the country that has already produced various kinds and sizes of robots. Big ones, small ones, ones which can dance, talk, everything.

Elderly people who get lonely or isolated can use these robots for companionship. How are you going to welcome Pepper to your midst?

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