Softbank Struggles with Pepper’s Emotions

Published by , October 31, 2016 2:23 am

(EconomicTimes) Pepper, a humanoid machine carrying the hopes of SoftBank Group’s billionaire founder Masayoshi Son, was marketed Pepper aggressively after it was unveiled in 2014 as being sophisticated enough for tasks usually handled by shop clerks, receptionists and translators. But Pepper’s main selling point—the emotion engine—became a stumbling block.The emotion engine was so far behind in development that Peppers sold to businesses since October 2015 shipped with the ability to possess feelings turned off.
Now, it looks like Pepper is destined to join Honda Motor’s soccer-playing ASIMO and Sony’s QRIO humanoids as the latest cool-but-impractical robot to come out of Japan. Conversations with those involved in the machine’s development suggest that all the elements for success were in place, only to crumble due to bad decision making and missed opportunities.

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