Have you seen Pepper yet?
SoftBank’s uber-adorable robot, that is about 4 feet tall and 62 pounds, just might wheel its way into many a home — and heart — in Japan this weekend when it goes on sale, according to this report from the Associated Press in Japan.
Pepper, or the robot with “heart,” has been through over a year of software development since it was announced, the AP reports. It has no legs and moves on wheels and is programmed to “recognize human emotions but react with simulations of anger, joy and irritation.” The A.I. technology for Pepper was provided by IBM.
SoftBank said it is preparing for a global launch with Alibaba and Foxconn, but details of when you can get your hands on one are still unclear, but will be likely next year. Pepper costs about $1,600.
Christmas 2016, consider yourself solved.
SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son said in the AP article that the “inspiration for Pepper came from his childhood memories of Astro Boy, an animated Japanese character,” and that the robot will develop personality traits of its own.
Now watch this family being delighted by Pepper: