A robot designed to read—and more importantly, respond to—users’ moods was unveiled this week by Softbank, a Japanese internet company.
Pepper, who stands 4 feet tall and weighs about 62 pounds, is equipped with facial-recognition technology and a number of cameras, audio recorders and sensors. That technology allows the robot to learn how to behave over time, instead of being programmed for specific tasks, Softbank said.
“Our aim is to develop affectionate robots that can make people smile,” said Masayoshi Son, the billionaire behind Softbank.
The humanoid, which is set to go on sale in Japan in February 2015, will cost about 198,000 yen ($1,900).