Humanoid Robot Pepper
Photographer: Franck Robichon
Reaching 120cm in height and 28 kilograms in weight, Pepper does not enter in the category of 'portable' robot. But those characteristics don't stop Tomomi Ota to take Pepper in a cart to stroll in her neighborhood, go shopping or even take the subway.
In June 2014, when Pepper was presented for the first time by Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation Softbank at a press event, Tomomi looked at the presentation via a live broadcast on Ustream. While some people were 'scared' or reluctant by the new humanoid robot, curiosity pushed her to apply at a lottery sales for the first lot of 200 Pepper. She was lucky enough to acquire then a 'Developer's Pepper', the first models of the robots which need to be programmed by the users.
Pepper entered Tomomi's home in November 2014 and was soon adopted by her parents to become a member of the family. Having degrees in media design and music, Tomomi had to learn programming and her efforts deepened her bonds with her new friend.
Capable of reading human emotions and to adapt to his interlocutor, the robot created by Aldebaran Robotics and SoftBank Robotics is now used for customer service in stores and 1,000 units are sold out in minutes after going on sale every month. Pepper is making his way to Japanese homes but few can enjoy so much outdoor like Tomomi's one.
Asked if she isn’t worried of damaging her robot friend during her activities, the 30-year-old said that she is taking extra care as she couldn't imagine being separated two months from Pepper, the average time needed for a repair.