SoftBank robot ‘Pepper’ gets ready for enterprises

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    SoftBank, Japanese telecom giant has announced that its emotionally intelligent robot, “Pepper”, will be making its mark in the enterprise with pre-orders opening from October 1.

    First launched for consumers in Japan last month, the $9,000 bot can analyze gestures, voice tones, and expressions, all powered by a cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) system. Similar to the consumer model, “Pepper for Biz” will be available through a monthly subscription, though businesses will rent the robot rather than buy it outright. SoftBank is only offering “Pepper for Biz” on a 36-month rental plan, amounting to roughly $442 a month or $16,000 for the full three years. Pepper will come with a set of pre-installed apps designed for use in the enterprise which are customizable.