The Japanese obsession with creating a Robot that would ultimately destroy all humans and take over the world continues. Read the Web 360 story to see how one day a robot may be watching your kids.
SoftBank announces emotional robots to staff its stores and watch your baby
SoftBank CEO and Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son has announced a surprising new direction for his illustrious career: the field of humanoid robotics. At a press conference in Tokyo, Son revealed a human-like robot called Pepper that is capable of playing multiple roles from babysitter to store staff. Pepper introduced itself by bowing in the Japanese fashion before posing and encouraging the audience to take more photos. from the Verge
Who Is Pepper?
Pepper is the first humanoid robot designed to live with humans. At the risk of disappointing you, he doesn’t clean, doesn’t cook and doesn’t have super powers… Pepper is a social robot able to converse with you, recognize and react to your emotions, move and live autonomously. from Aldebaran
Can this robot read your emotions
Pepper stands about 4 feet tall and weighs just 62 pounds. At the event in Tokyo, the little humanoid offered a traditional Japanese bow to the crowd before chatting with Son, shaking hands and urging him to smile. Pepper gets feedback from its user via facial-recognition technology and a bank of cameras, audio recorders and sensors in its head. Softbank says that instead of being programmed, Pepper learns how to behave over time. Feedback is uploaded to cloud storage where it can be used by other units to modify the way they behave. The robots will tailor their interactions with users based on what mood they perceive. from CNN with Video
Pepper is programmed to study what is going on in its vicinity and react appropriately based on its proprietary algorithms and information drawn from a continually evolving cloud-based database. According to SoftBank Mobile, the robot is capable of emotion recognition by gauging expressions and voice tones, and it can modify its behavior based on what it sees and hears. In addition, by the time of its commercial launch, the company says it will also have the ability to learn through experience. It will also be able to run apps that will allow Pepper’s capabilities to be expanded. Gizmodo
For now, Softbank and Aldebaran are hoping to entice developers to develop for Pepper, which appears to be a consumer play at first. However, Pepper is also likely to have business uses too. For instance, iRobot and Cisco have already launched a telepresence robot called Ava. Pepper could serve as a stand-in for meetings in the future. from ZDnet
“Our aim is to develop affectionate robots that can make people smile,” said Masayoshi Son, the billionaire behind Softbank. The humanoid, which is set to go on sale in Japan in February 2015, will cost about 198,000 yen ($1,900). Time[total-poll id=4368]