He's a cutie, Pepper the robot. He looks up to you like a trusting dog, and if he didn't speak in such a jarring manner, you might forget that he is a machine.
And so it should be. Pepper is, in fact, one of the humanoid robots, because he looks human. "But he should clearly differ from people," explains Nicolas Boudot SoftBank Robotics, the company that brought Pepper to ITB Berlin Convention. "Humanoid robots resemble zombies more than living people. They scare us."
The 1.20-metre robot Pepper, on the other hand, comes across as very likeable, with his glossy white exterior, round head, and big wide eyes that light up in changing colours. Pepper serves as an interface to the internet, providing access to all kinds of eServices. He can make hotel reservations, change airline reservations, reserve tickets, or serve as an online retailer. All by voice. As an intelligent machine, he's continually improving. He gives personalised information and answers knowledge questions. Pepper can supposedly even analyse people's facial expressions and gestures and respond accordingly.
At the demonstration at ITB Berlin, Boudot let Pepper change his seat booking on a flight. The robot scans his booking's QR code from his smartphone – the QR scanner sits behind a hole in the robot's forehead. The plane's seating chart is then shown on the screen that Pepper has on his chest. Boudot clicks on the desired seat. Done.
Press contact: Nicolas Boudot
Tel.: + 33 177 371 752