Meet Pepper, the world’s first robot capable of emotional recognition

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Masayoshi Son proved today that technology has no boundaries. Son who is the CEO of Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation, unveiled a robot called Pepper, which can read human emotions.

Pepper is a 1.2 m robot that weighs 28.1 kg, has two eyes, no legs, a flat-panel display on its chest, and can read human emotions. Son explained that Pepper uses a cloud-based artificial intelligence system to analyse gestures, expressions, and voice tones, thus allowing a more natural interaction with human behaviour.

Pepper is the product of a collaboration between SoftBank and Aldebaran Robotics, a French robotics company. Pepper is highly intelligent, able to articulate 4,500 Japanese words and can mimic its master’s tone when responding to humans. Pepper is equipped with both microphones and proximity sensors allowing it to communicate through speech and body language. Installing applications to upgrade functionality is possible with Pepper, according to SoftBank.

Son stated that people describe others as being robotic because they express no emotions but this will finally change, as for the first time in human history a robot can emulate such emotions.

Living in Japan and eager to interact with Pepper? Today might be your lucky day, as starting tomorrow, SoftBank will debut Pepper at two Tokyo stores where you can interact with the AI robotic prototype. Pepper will be on sale next February, retailing at $1,930 exclusively in Japanese stores.