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Aldebaran Introduces Companion, Pepper

June 10, 2014

Companion Robot Pepper Having a Conversation Video: Vincent Desailly - Aldebaran Robotics

In conjunction with Japanese mobile company SoftBank Mobile, Aldebaran Robotics unveils is latest robot, a companion robot who can sense and show emotions, Pepper. Pepper is programmed to recognize human emotions from facial expressions, body language combined with your chosen words and can react accordingly. 

Aldebaran is a French company that focuses on humanoid robots like the succesfully released the autonomous humanoid NAO and Romeo Robots. Aldebaran Robotics offers software and tools to enable the robotic industry develop applications of the future. 

The robot, which will be available in Japan from February, 2015, can speak in various languages and is programmed to be outgoing. It is primarily designed to help meet people’s emotional needs. Aldebaran Robotics aims for Pepper to be a widely-used companion robot, found in homes. 

The sensitive and interactive robot is fitted with gyro, touch, sonar and bumper sensors that allow him to feel out situations. Based on algorithms, Pepper reacts accordingly, creating the most-realistic possible interactions. 

Bruno Maisonnier, Aldebaran’s founder and CEO, feels that the most important use for robots is to “constantly surprise us, and make people grow.”  The affectionate nature of Pepper is what Aldebaran aims to make him revolutionary. Indeed, Pepper has the ability to dance and make jokes. 

Starting last week, Pepper is a fixture at SoftBank stores in Japan, serving as an employee, interacting with customers, with the number of stores to increase regularly.   

Once home availability occurs, people will want to be able to customize their interactions. This will be possible with an SDK (Software Development Kit) that will allow for programming.

Source: Aldebaran Robotics
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