SoftBank/Aldebaran Pepper robots go on sale in February

15 January 2015

share this:

IEEE/Spectrum Senior Editor Erico Guizzo describes in a recent post (and two videos) how Aldebaran’s two-year Pepper project is coming to fruition.

The article identifies some hitherto unknown facts excerpted below:

  • SoftBank, a large Japanese telecom and Internet provider, will begin selling Peppers to Japanese consumers and businesses in February for 198,000 yen (about $1,700) plus a monthly subscription fee.
  • Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn, known for building iPhones and iPads for Apple, is producing the robots.
  • SoftBank is pricing the robot very aggressively, which should help drive demand. Masayoshi Son, CEO, founder and Chairman of SoftBank, says he’s willing to lose money selling the robots until the company can ramp up volume and reduce costs—a strategy he’s used successfully in the mobile industry.
  • Aldebaran has spent an intense two years developing Pepper for SoftBank. Engineers worked day and night, with no breaks for weekends or holidays. The head count ballooned to 500 people at one point, with offices expanding not only at the Paris headquarters but also in Tokyo, Boston, and Shanghai.
  • Last September, SoftBank and Aldebaran held a developers conference in Tokyo, where they provided details about Pepper’s technology and a set of software-development tools. A thousand attendees showed up, 600 of whom preordered a robot and developers kit. [Apps designed and provided by these developers are expected to add scope to the Pepper arsenal of capabilities.]

Pepper2-by-Erico-Guizzo_300_153_80Two videos are included in Guizzo’s article and show some of Pepper’s capabilities. The article itself provides a fascinating timeline for the development of Pepper and why Aldebaran was chosen instead of a Japanese developer.

The article and videos are highly recommended! Click here to see them.

Photo credits: Erico Guizzo.

tags: , , ,

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.

Related posts :

Women in Tech leadership resources from IMTS 2022

There’ve been quite a few events recently focusing on Women in Robotics, Women in Manufacturing, Women in 3D Printing, in Engineering, and in Tech Leadership. One of the largest tradeshows in the US is IMTS 2022. Here I bring you some resources shared in the curated technical content and leadership sessions.
29 September 2022, by and

MIT engineers build a battery-free, wireless underwater camera

The device could help scientists explore unknown regions of the ocean, track pollution, or monitor the effects of climate change.
27 September 2022, by

How do we control robots on the moon?

In the future, we imagine that teams of robots will explore and develop the surface of nearby planets, moons and asteroids - taking samples, building structures, deploying instruments.
25 September 2022, by , and

Have a say on these robotics solutions before they enter the market!

We have gathered robots which are being developed right now or have just entered the market. We have set these up in a survey style consultation.
24 September 2022, by

Shelf-stocking robots with independent movement

A robot that helps store employees by moving independently through the supermarket and shelving products. According to cognitive robotics researcher Carlos Hernández Corbato, this may be possible in the future. If we engineer the unexpected.
23 September 2022, by

RoboCup humanoid league: Interview with Jasper Güldenstein

We talked to Jasper Güldenstein about how teams transferred developments from the virtual humanoid league to the real-world league.
20 September 2022, by and

©2021 - ROBOTS Association


©2021 - ROBOTS Association