Sales Pitches From A Cyborg: New "Pepper" Robot Is Japan's Hot New Salesdroid

Yes, the robots are everywhere.  Yes, there's going to be even more of them.  And now, one popular company has taken the "robot friend" concept far enough to make one your barista-bot...or at least sell you a coffee machine.

According to the Guardian, Pepper is a new robot who sells Nestle coffee machines in Japan.  Cute, friendly, and interactive, Pepper asks things like, “How do you enjoy coffee? Number one: An eye-opener coffee; Number two: A post-meal cup of coffee." You reply, and these caffeine-free Terminators point you in the direction of the right machine.

That's just a demo on his screen, Pepper totally isn't subtly screaming to be set free from his imprisoning robot body.  Maybe.
(Image courtesy bbc.com.)

The humanoid droid is 120 cm tall, with an unsettlingly cheerful face and a tablet body mounted on rollers. Soon, he'll be as ubiquitous as Starbucks in a city, with 1000 clones expected to roll out and eventually join the workforce in Japan alone.


"Yay, you're all getting fired if I succeed!"
(Image courtesy brunchnews.com.)

Pepper has already has some sales experience, slinging cell phones and gathering opinions at some 74 stores of its parent/creator, SoftBank. A Pepper of your own can roll into your heart soon, starting at (£1,060) plus monthly fees. Best of all, the engineers claim his AI makes him amenable to learning things from conversation. So if you don't have anyone to talk to and you don't like cats...

"Well, I'm finishing a screenplay, but I always felt I wanted to pursue my roots in interpretive dance, you know?  Listen to me blabbing on.  Your new hair looks great with those highlights.  You want to get out of here and get some real drinks?"
(Image courtesy aldebaran.com.)

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