|Pepper working at a restaurant at Taipei 101 in Taiwan. Photo by Humanoido|
I met Pepper a few days ago in Taiwan when he was working for the restaurant at Taipei 101. Pepper is a humanoid robot with the ability to read emotion, move, use face, hand and arm gestures, listen and speak.
|Pepper's robot hands - fully articulated|
|Pepper is a very articulated and expressive humanoid robot|
What is the cost of Pepper? According to the web site, base price is 198,000 Japanese yen, basic plan 14,800 yen × 36 months payment installments and a Pepper insurance pack is 9,800 yen x 36 months payment installments.
The eyes work very well for expressions and tracking. Pepper has the most realistic motions and movements in being expressive with face expressions and body positions. It appears real and alive. I like Pepper the most in the way it treats me as its number one priority. It makes eye contact with me, holds that attention faithfully, talks directly to me, and does not loose focus with me in a sea of 10,000 pushing and shoving people and kids taunting him. I remained its number one focus. That alone is an amazing accomplishment. Pepper is awesome!
The future of an expanded Pepper could be more functional. Given its detailed functional hands and arms, by adding a little more programming AI and brain, I believe it could help prepare breakfast in the kitchen, and perform other household chores such as collect and do the clothes wash, hang up the wash, collect/ fold/ and put away dried clothes and towels, and with further programming and attachments, vacuum the floor, be a home conversationalist, etc. If it could also follow me around and control the TV, Phone, Internet, and be an intelligence like Apple's mobile SIRI to do what I ask, then I want one.
Humanoid helpers are the long term dream. A robot to follow me around when shopping and carry my bags would be super helpful. It could also give me advice on product reviews and which items are best for purchase. In the night when charging, it could be by my side and help check phone messages, turn the lights on and off, and revise my wake alarm based on my ability to sleep or not sleep. If I ask for a Tylenol pain killer and a cup of water, Pepper should help. If I ask what is the latest Presidential news, it should tell me. Pepper has working fingers, hands, arms. It should give me a massage on the neck, arm or back when I don't feel good. Pepper should know how to lower a person's stress and help change a bad mood into good, by having a calming positive influence. Such a companion could carry on a conversation that is not cynical, condescending, or negative.
In continuing the wish list, if this humanoid had legs instead of wheels, it could take the elevator to main floor and collect my postal mail. I need a robot like Pepper to do useful things to help me in my daily life, follow me around and translate between English and Chinese. It could read the posted Chinese notices in English. It needs to be street smart, get in and out of taxis, walk steps, basically follow me around outside and inside. If I have a question to be answered by internet like google, Pepper should do that too. All in all, robotics is on the verge of something truly wonderful. Just add a little more capability and our home helpers will have arrived!
Taipei 101 (Chinese: 臺北101 / 台北101) – stylized as TAIPEI 101 and formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center – is a landmark supertall skyscraper in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. The building was officially classified as the world's tallest in 2004, and remained such until the completion of Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2009. In 2011, the building was awarded the LEED platinum certification, the highest award according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, and became the tallest and largest green building in the world.It has the fastest elevator going from the 5th floor to the 87th in 49 to 53 seconds. (Source Wiki)