SoftBank announced that their little Pepper robot will be available for sale beginning August 1st at the rate of 1,000 per month after selling out their first 1,000 Peppers in one online minute in June.
Priced at $1,611 for the robot plus $200 per month for the online service and maintenance contract, and only available in Japan at the present time, SoftBank said it can make about 1,000 units per month and that there are about 200 apps available for the device.
In addition to the apps, Pepper is upgrading its software to be able to memorize and retain data on emotional responses by recognized person to better enable Pepper to express emotions that change according to how people interact with it. The video on the Pepper website shows an emotional woman coming home to Pepper which recognizes her and the emotion and attempts to make her happy. In another scene in the 4-minute video, Pepper interacts and plays with kids and adults in various activities.
Peppers are showing up in all sorts of places. This photo, from Xinhua, which appeared in the Want China Times, shows a colorfully dressed Pepper at a grocery promoting various store items.
SoftBank and their joint venture partners Alibaba and Foxconn, announced their new production schedule and app store. They also announced a software update to be included in the next production cycle and an August “sale” with details to follow.