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Emotional Intelligence

Meet the 'human-like' robot that can understand people's emotions

Pepper, a robot that can understand human emotions and learn from human interactions, will go on sale in Japan for €1,420.

JAPANESE TELECOM COMPANY SoftBank unveiled its own human-like robot called Pepper which it says is capable of reading people’s emotions and understanding feelings.

Described as the “world’s first personal robot with emotions,” Pepper uses voice recognition, and emotion recognition, which allows it to analyse expressions, gestures and voice tones, to learn and understand human interaction.

Its experiences are uploaded to a cloud AI system for other Pepper robots to use. This is to help further develop their own emotional capabilities and in turn, help it learn to act naturally.

The robot is just under four foot tall, has a display attached to its chest and is said to have around 12 hours of battery life. According to Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son, these robots can perform various tasks like act as store staff and communicate with people.

Developers will also have the chance to create apps for the robot, which would be incorporated into areas like motion, conversation and sensors, to help expand its capabilities.

The company will display prototype units in two of its Tokyo stores from tomorrow before rolling them out nationwide. Pepper will go on general sale in February for ¥198,000 (€1,420).

SoftBank / YouTube

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