All Pepper Robot Features

What are the main Pepper robot features? Can it speak English? What's his CPU?

Does he have this sensor? What apps are already available?

Here is a detailed description of what the Pepper robot can do. All its specifications if you prefer。

There are 2 main parts:

  • Pepper's Hardware
  • Pepper's Software

To check how much Pepper costs, click here.

Pepper Robot Features: Hardware

How can Pepper move?

The Pepper robot features 20 degrees of freedom. That means he can move in 20 different ways, or that he has 20 motors. He has 6 motors in each arm, 2 in the neck, 2 in the hips, 1 for the knee, and finally 3 for the wheels.

Pepper's wheels are a kind of omni-wheels patented by Aldebaran. Pepper robot can move in any direction while rotating at the same time.

Technically, you could program Pepper to imitate the Earth: revolving around a person while rotating around his own base. Not sure it would be a good idea though...

How can Pepper express himself?

Pepper has many ways that you can use to express something, to build an interface.

First, Pepper can talk, play sounds and music with the loud speakers in his ears (yes, he talks with his ears...). If you talk with Pepper, you sometimes get the impression that you are in a cartoon, because of the music and sounds.

Also, Pepper has a tablet on his chest. So far, I saw it is mostly used to display mysterious bubbles or slideshows that accompany the speech.

The bubbles on the tablet are said to represent the internal state of the robot. It shows the Pepper robot's emotions...

Finally, several LEDs, especially in the eyes, are great to convey emotions by changing colors. Also, if you meet Pepper, you might realize that the first time he sees someone, his eyes are blushing a little.

What can Pepper robot see?

Pepper robot features a tablet and expressive eyes

The Pepper robot has many ways to perceive the world.

First, he can see you with 2 cameras and a 3D sensor (similar to a Kinect sensor) on his face. He can also hear you with 4 microphones (under the 2 grids on his head).

He also has many touch sensors on his body. You might get a reaction by touching the back of his hands, or between the microphones on the head. His base is protected by 3 bumpers too.

To navigate safely, the Pepper robot features several laser sensors and sonars around the base. He also has gyro-meters and other motion detection sensors to detect when he is moved or pushed.

What is the Pepper robot CPU?

Pepper robot is currently using an embedded PC with an Intel Atom card. The card has 2 CPU cores running at 1.6 GHz, and 1 MB of RAM. There is no GPU.

The OS is a modified Gentoo distribution called OpenNAO. On top of it, NaoqiOS, the robotics OS solution created by Aldebaran, is running all the Software used to do everything, from HW control to AI decision making.

Pepper Robot features: Software

What can Pepper actually see?

Pepper robot features really advanced perception algorithms.

For example, Pepper uses 3D and color images to detect people, look at them, and even follow them around. He can do it in real time to be reactive when new people arrive.

Pepper can detect where loud sounds come from. If you are in quiet room, a simple snap can attract the attention of the robot. He can also understand words, both using the embedded computer or using a Cloud Speech-to-Text service.

When talking with someone, the Pepper robot features some cool tricks. Pepper can estimate your age, gender and smile by looking at your face.

Pepper can also detect the emotion in your voice or on your face. According to Softbank, Pepper will be able to detect if you lie...

Also, Pepper can map his environment to detect obstacles, and even remember places he has been in order to localize himself.

Pepper and Artificial Intelligence?

Pepper is a fully autonomous robot. He can spend the whole day chatting with and entertaining customers in Softbank shops. No human action is required.

His Autonomous Life is a decision center that takes nearly a hundred parameters into account to choose the right action at the right moment.

For example, when Pepper sees someone right in front of him, he will start chatting. If you touch his head, he will react. If nothing happens, he does some stuff on his own.

He also has a Basic Awareness. His goal is to always be ready for people to interact with them.

If he doesn't see anyone, he will follow noises. If you touch him, he will look where the touch come from to see you. Once he sees people, he starts interacting.

Pepper Robot having conversation

Can Pepper talk with you?

Pepper is talking mostly Japanese. The main reason is that most of the content (apps and conversation scripts) were made for Softbank shops in Japanese.

Technically, Pepper can speak French, English, and about 15 other languages. In the Aldebaran Atelier of Paris, you can test Pepper in French and English.

Pepper uses the Dialog system to choose the most appropriate answer to whatever you tell him. What you say is matched using the embedded computer in his head, and a Cloud Speech-to-Text service provided by Nuance.

When Pepper doesn't know what to answer, he can also ask Softbank's Cloud AI system for another answer. This Cloud AI System is said to be able to learn and become more efficient over time.

What about Pepper's safety functions?

The Pepper robot features a set of safety functions that make it totally unable to harm a human.

Since he can detect obstacles all around him, he always avoids collision. Even his arms slow down when he senses they could touch someone or something.

What if you bump into the robot? Pepper can keep balance and move to recover from a strong push.

If the robot was pushed hard enough to fall, he cuts all motors to fall softly on the floor. Most of the weight is in the base near the wheels, so the upper body would actually be quite light if it fell.


You might also be interested in the following pages:

Who is Pepper? (Aldebaran website)

Nao robot, the smaller, older brother of Pepper robot.

JIBO the family robot, another social robot that could be available for you soon too.

Robotic pets can already entertain your home and make your house much more lively.



Click here to go back from Pepper robot features to the main Pepper robot page.

Click here to go back to the Personal Robot home page.

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