Wednesday, 24th June 2015
In General Japan News,
Japanese robot with emotions sells out in 1 minute
A robot designed to detect human emotions has been released in Japan and all 1,000 units were sold within 60 seconds.
That is according to the developer Softbank, which created the humanoid machine known as Pepper and dubbed a "robot with a heart".
There has been much anticipation in the build-up to Pepper's release, after Softbank announced it last year and it did not take long for all of those created to sell out online.
Consumers who were lucky enough to get their hands on one of the robots paid 198,000 yen (approximately £1,000) for the device, with monthly service and insurance fees charged on top.
It is estimated that the cost of owning one will amount to around 1.2 million yen (£6,000) over three years.
Pepper has been built with the ability to recognise emotions such as anger, joy and sadness when interacting with humans.
It then reacts according to the mood it has discovered and offers companionship in the appropriate manner.
The developers say that Pepper has been designed to help address issues associated with the country's ageing population.
Japan has one of the highest median ages in the world at 46-years-old and its birth rate is at a record low, exacerbating the problem further.
Masayoshi Son, chief executive of Softbank, said: "Our vision is to offer a robot with love."
Pepper measures four feet in height and weighs four and a half stone, but despite its diminutive size, can replicate human movement fairly convincingly, dancing and bowing in respect.
Softbank has announced it will release 1,000 units a month from now on, with its sights set further afield than just Japan.
Despite big plans for the robot, an export strategy and obvious demand, the company said it would not make any money on the device for years.