The Pepper Robot is the first of its kind:
Let's see more about this awesome Pepper robot that started its carreer in Japan.
Pepper is fun, really fun. The interactive robot was created to become your friend in your own home. That is the goal all along. But it is just not ready yet. So Softbank decided its first mission would be to entertain its clients during the long waiting lines in its stores.
As an entertaining robot, Yoshimoto, the number 1 company for shows and entertainment production, has created a set of really fun shows and interactive applications (in Japanese only for now). You can have a taste of it from the launch event that took place early June 2014:
Every half an hour, Pepper robot starts a ~10 min show with jokes, dancing and even tips on how to use your phone. In between shows, the interactive robot is fully available to discuss with you, and can hold meaningful conversation thanks to Aldebaran's Dialog system.
While the robot can not talk about everything, it can guide to talk about interesting, funny topic, and will switch topic at will depending on your answers. Again, Softbank had produced lots of funny topics full of jokes and puns that the robot can talk about with you.
Now, one of the biggest challenge that Aldebaran had to solve to enable a robot like Pepper in the stores, was to make it safe. There will be excited kids all around the robot while it is moving and dancing. How come not one of them ever get hit. Imagine a small kid walking in the middle of Ballet and you know its a recipe for disaster.
But the Pepper robot has many sensors all around: sonars, lasers and 3D cameras, bumpers and touch detectors all work together to avoid all obstacles, adapt movements speed to the space available stop the arms before they touch any obstacles. The robot can detect when you pull its arms, move it around on its wheels, or push it. Just like autonomous cars are getting safer than normal cars, Pepper is safer than any dancer and street performer out there.
Pepper is deployed in many Softbank shops, and that number is increasing every week. At first, most shops with the robot will be near Tokyo, Japan. But by the end of summer, the robot should be available every where in Japan Softbank shops.
Also, Aldebaran has started creating its own showrooms, called Ateliers. The first Atelier opened at the end of June 2014 in Aldebaran's headquarters in the South of Paris. It features a dozen of Naos and Pepper robots, and you can discover how the robots will behave in your home, or how you can program them yourself. More Ateliers are opening in Tokyo (Omotesando and Akihabara), and a little later in the US (New York and California).
While Nao is on sale for 6500 Euros today, Pepper will only be available to everyone in Japan from February 2015, but for the "low" price of 198'000 Yen, which is about $1950: the price of a high-end computer today. So start saving today if you want to be the first to own a fully featured home robot.
You are a developer, you want to create your own apps for Pepper and Nao. Aldebaran has created a complete software suite to develop applications and new features on the robot.
Pepper robot's software starts with NaoqiOS. NaoqiOS is a messaging server at its cores, with many ready-to-use modules that take care of all the low-level tasks for you, and let you focus on a unique user experience in your app. A few features you have out of the box are:
With this, Choregraphe, the graphical development tool, makes it easy to
create complete apps with no programming knowledge, or with a lot of
experience too. Drag and drop boxes to add features, or create new boxes
with new features using Python and NaoqiOS APIs. All Aldebaran and
Softbank app creators use Choregraphe every day to code applications,
create animations, and distribute them through the Store.
For many programming tips on developing apps for Pepper and Nao, check out the Pepper programming page with tutorials and tips on creating Pepper apps.
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