Pepper (robot)

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The robot Pepper standing in a retail environment
ManufacturerAldebaran Robotics (now SoftBank Robotics)
Year of creation2014 prototype
PurposeTechnology demonstrator

Pepper is a semi-humanoid robot manufactured by SoftBank Robotics (formerly Aldebaran Robotics), which is owned by SoftBank, designed with the ability to read emotions. It was introduced in a conference on 5 June 2014, and was showcased in Softbank mobile phone stores in Japan beginning the next day.[1][2] Pepper's ability to detect emotion comes from the ability to analyze expressions and voice tones.


Pepper was scheduled to be available in December 2015 at a base price of JPY 198,000 ($1,931) at Softbank Mobile stores.[3] Pepper went on sale in June 2015 for 198,000 yen ($1650), with the first batch of 1,000 units selling out in just 60 seconds.[4]

Pepper was launched in the UK in 2016 and there are currently two versions available.[citation needed]

By May 2018, 12,000 Pepper robots had been sold in Europe.[5]



Pepper is currently being used as a receptionist at several offices in the UK and is able to identify visitors with the use of facial recognition, send alerts for meeting organisers and arrange for drinks to be made. Pepper is said to be able to chat to prospective clients.

The robot has also been used at banks and medical facilities in Japan, using applications created by Seikatsu Kakumei.[6][7][8] and is also used at the four hundred branches of Hamazushi restaurants in Japan.[5]


Pepper is used in over a thousand homes in Japan.[9]


Pepper is available as a research and educational robot for schools, colleges and universities to teach programming and conduct research into human-robot interactions.

In 2017, an international team began research into using Pepper as versatile robot to help look after older people in care homes or sheltered accommodation. The project received funding worth two million pound, with donors including the European Union and the Japanese government. The project was expected to run for three years. Institutions involved in the research include Middlesex University and the University of Bedfordshire.[9] On Tuesday 16 October 2018, a Pepper robot from the project gave evidence to the Education Committee of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom Parliament.[10][11]



Pepper in a Darty shop in France in La Défense, 2016.

Pepper is not a functional robot for domestic use. Instead, Pepper is intended "to make people enjoy life", enhance people's lives, facilitate relationships, have fun with people and connect people with the outside world.[12] Pepper's creators hope that independent developers will create new content and uses for Pepper.[13]


The robot's head has four microphones, two HD cameras (in the mouth and forehead), and a 3-D depth sensor (behind the eyes). There is a gyroscope in the torso and touch sensors in the head and hands. The mobile base has two sonars, six lasers, three bumper sensors, and a gyroscope.[14]

It is able to run the existing content in the app store designed for SoftBank's Nao robot.

  • Height: 1.20 metres (4 ft)
  • Depth: 425 millimetres (17 in)
  • Width: 485 millimetres (19 in)
Weight 28 kilograms (62 lb)
Battery Lithium-ion battery
Capacity: 30.0Ah/795Wh
Operation time: approx. 12hrs (when used at shop)
Display 10.1-inch touch display
Head Mic x 4, RGB camera x 2,3D sensor x 1, Touch sensor x 3
Chest Gyro sensor x 1
Hands Touch sensor x 2
Legs Sonar sensor x 2, Laser sensor x 6, Bumper sensor x 3, Gyro sensor x 1
Moving parts Degrees of motion
Head (2°), Shoulder (2° L&R), Elbow (2 rotations L&R), Wrist (1° L&R), Hand with 5 fingers (1° L&R), Hip (2°), Knee (1°), Base (3°)
20 Motors
Platform NAOqi OS
Networking Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz)
Ethernet x1 (10/100/1000 base T)
Motion speed Up to 3 kilometres per hour (2 mph)
Climbing Up to 1.5 centimetres (0.6 in)


In September 2015, a visitor frustrated with his customer experience in Tokyo lashed out against Pepper, damaging the unit.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Byford, Sam (5 June 2014). "SoftBank announces emotional robots to staff its stores and watch your baby – Pepper will go on sale for under $2,000 in February". Vox Media. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  2. ^ Nagata, Kazuaki (5 June 2014). "SoftBank unveils 'historic' robot – Cloud-linked machine reads emotions, can 'learn,' company says". The Japan Times. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  3. ^ Dignan, Larry (5 June 2014). "Softbank, Aldebaran launch Pepper, an emotional robot". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^
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  8. ^ a b
  9. ^
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  11. ^ "Artificial Intelligence levels up with Domestic Robots". The Skinny. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  12. ^ "FAQ About Pepper". Aldebaran. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Find out more about Pepper". SoftBank Robotics. Retrieved 24 August 2017.

External links[edit]