SoftBank to Launch Sales of ‘Pepper’


SoftBank Robotics Corp. and SoftBank Mobile Corp. (“SoftBank”) today announced that ‘Pepper’, the world’s first personal robot that can read emotions, will go on sale in Japan starting June 20, 2015.

With 1,000 units available for purchase in the month of June, customers will be able to place orders for Pepper online starting from 10:00am on June 20. Before the sales launch, on June 19 a special drawing for a limited number of 30 units will be held at SoftBank Tokyo Station GranRoof Front (Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo). Additional shipments of Pepper will follow from July onward.

In conjunction with the sales launch, Pepper will not only be able to read emotions – Pepper has evolved to have emotions. Pepper’s emotions use emotion functions developed by cocoro SB Corp. that enable robots to artificially generate their own emotions. These emotion functions in Pepper are modeled on the human release of hormones in response to stimuli absorbed by the five senses which in turn generate emotions. In addition to Pepper’s emotion recognition functions, Pepper has capabilities to generate emotions autonomously by processing information from his cameras, touch sensors, accelerometer and other sensors within his “endocrine-type multi-layer neural network.”

With this emotion function, Pepper’s emotions are influenced by people’s facial expressions and words, as well as his surroundings, which in turn affects Pepper’s words and actions. For example, Pepper is at ease when he is around people he knows, happy when he is praised, and gets scared when the lights go down.

Depending on the emotion at the time, Pepper raises his voice or sighs, for example. Pepper’s emotions can be seen on the heart display, which shows different colors and movements. Furthermore, a number of robot apps have been developed to make life fun with an emotional robot. The ‘Pepper's Diary’, for example, links Pepper’s emotions with daily family events that are recorded with pictures and photos. 

With the sales launch, approximately 200 robot apps will be available for download from the app store in addition to the pre-installed basic apps. Special robot apps that can be acquired by using ‘cocorogumi’, which are obtained by spending time with Pepper, will also be available. SoftBank plans to expand the lineup of robot apps.

This autumn, SoftBank plans to launch a dedicated model for enterprises, ‘Pepper for Biz’. Details will be announced at SoftBank World 2015, which will be held in July.

Furthermore, a developer program beta version service for developing and distributing Pepper applications will be offered by Aldebaran, the joint developer of Pepper and subsidiary of SoftBank Group in France, starting from early July.

Details can be found at this website: http://www.softbank.jp/robot/developer/program/

 

1. Sales methods

June sales launch

*Information on sales from July onward will be provided at a later date

Special draw sales ahead of sales date

  • Entry time: from 10am to 9pm on June 19 (winners will be announced on the SoftBank website at noon on the following day)

  • Units for sale: 30

  • Entry venue: SoftBank Tokyo Station City GranRoof Front (Marunouchi 1-9-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)

  • Prizes: One-of-a-kind Pepper T-shirts

 

2. Price, price plans

  • Base price: 198,000 yen

  • Pepper Basic Plan: 14,800 yen × 36 months (payment installments)

  • Pepper Insurance Pack: 9,800 yen x 36 months (payment installments)

*A separate robot charge (9,800 yen) is required. Basic Plan, Pepper Insurance Pack can be paid with a 36 installment contract or at once.

*Standalone purchases can only be applied for at shops.

*Above prices are for a one-time payment of the Pepper base price and payment installments for Pepper Basic Plan and Pepper Insurance Pack.

 

3. Specifications

. Dimensions: 1210mm × 480mm × 425mm

. Weight : 29kg

. Battery: 

  • Lithium-ion battery 

  • Capacity: 30.0Ah/795Wh

  • Operation time: approx. over 12 hours*

. Sensors : 

  • Head : Mic × 4, RGB camera × 2, 3D sensor × 1 / Touch sensor × 3

  • Chest : Gyro sensor ×1

  • Hands :Touch sensor ×2

  • Legs : Sonar sensor ×2, Laser sensor ×6 /Bumper sensor ×3, Gyro sensor ×1,Infrared sensor ×2

. Moving parts:

  • Degrees of motion : Head (2°), Shoulder (2°) (L&R), Elbow (2 rotations) (L&R), Wrist (1°) (L&R), Hand 5 fingers (1°) (L&R), Hip (2°), Knee (1°), Base (3°) / 20 Motors

. Display : 10.1-inch touch display

. Platform :NAOqi OS

. Networking :

  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz)

. Motion speed : Up to 2km/h

. Climbing : Up to 1.5cm

 

4. Robot apps

Customers can use robot apps by signing up for the Pepper Basic Plan. In addition to the pre-installed basic apps, customers can download robot apps from the app store to add new possibilities. Robot apps can be downloaded for free and by using ‘cocorogumi’, special robot apps are also available for download.

SoftBank also plans to offer charged apps.

● Aldebaran, the Pepper name and logo and NAOqi OS are registered trademarks of Aldebaran Robotics SAS in France and other countries.

● cocorogumi is a trademark of SoftBank Robotics Corp.

● SoftBank, the SoftBank name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of SoftBank Corp. in Japan and other countries.

● All other product and service names listed in this press release are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

 

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