Pepper and Son

Pepper and Son

Pepper, the new robot released by Aldebaran and SoftBank Industries, created quite a stir on Thursday. The robot is equipped with an "emotional recognition engine" that enables it to respond to human faces with appropriate sounds, gestures and actions.

Pepper was released with a great deal of fanfare at this two-hour Tokyo press event. Here's the marketing slideshow that explores the robot's key claim to a competitive edge: creating joy.
Pepper will be available for purchase some time in the Fall of 2014, for roughly $2,000, which seems like an incredible entry level price point.

Game changer? SoftBank's CEO, Son, claims it's a day that will be noted 100 or 200 years from now as the beginning of a new age of robotics. 

Big claim, but we're on the way to something huge in human-robot interaction, for sure!

Heres' a quote from CEO Son on the impact Pepper will have on our thinking about robots:

"People describe others as being robots because they have no emotions, no heart. For the first time in human history, we're giving a robot a heart, emotions."

Oh, and here's a Reddit AMA from one of Pepper's programmers providing some behind-the-scenes engineering info on how the robot works.