Buying telephones from robots:

Customers hoping to buy a new phone in Tokyo are being met with a team of ’emotional’ robots ready to answer their questions.

SoftBank has replaced staff with 10 humanoid Pepper robots in the city’s first Pepper Phone Shop.

The robots can answer questions, give suggestions and chat to customers by reading their tone of voice and facial expressions.

It is the world’s first store to be exclusively staffed by machines and will be open until 30 March.

However, it’s not the first time Pepper has been used to interact with people and customers in stores in Japan.

In December, Nescafe hired 1,000 Pepper robots to work across home appliance stores in Japan, where they help customers looking for a Nespresso coffee machine.

Pepper is made by French firm Aldebaran Robotics, a subsidiary of the mobile carrier Softbank and has already been ’employed’ in its stores to help human assistants.

Equipped with the latest voice and emotion recognition technology, Pepper is able to read people’s facial expressions and listen to their tone of voice to analyse how they’re feeling.

The Aldebaran robots retail from 198,000 yen (£1,107 or $1,600) and can understand 80 per cent of conversations.

They also have the ability to learn from conversations.

Aldebran additionally makes Neo which has two cameras mounted to its head, that act as eyes, as well as four directional microphones to act as its ears.

The 1ft 11in (58cm) bot has touch sensors, can speak 19 languages and is able to read and respond to emotions, by analysing facial expressions.

This analysis is made using embedded software called NAOqi.

Nao was recently hired at branches of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, on a trial basis.

During a presentation in Tokyo in April, Nao welcomed customers to the bank, and asked which service they required.

Aldebaran has produced more than 5,000 of its Nao humanoid, and it is primarily used for research and educational purposes.

And if the trial is successful, the robotic employees will be rolled out to more branches of the Japanese bank by 2020.

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1 Response to COMING SOON TO THE U.S.A.

  1. dekare says:

    Maybe emory college can buy some of these. Then program them to say sweet things to the students, tell them how wonderful and special they are, and how they are important, and then give them a hug. No more having to bring in emergency counselors….just deploy these bad boys here and everyone gets “special” treatment.

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