Haier and Soft Bank Robotics Group Corp. (SBRG) have launched a strategic partnership for the service robot market in China’s smart store and smart home fields, starting with SBRG’s humanoid robot ‘Pepper’.
The two companies will jointly develop a special version of Pepper, which is based on U+OS, an open system developed by Haier.
‘Pepper’, SBRG’s humanoid robot, is the first robot to be integrated into Haier smart home platform. Possessing a human-like appearance, it can be linked with a variety of smart appliances and equipment.
Its unique active and emotional interaction will improve human-machine communication. For example, Pepper can act as a butler, coordinating all Haier smart appliances in the home, optimizing them based on each family’s preferences.
In the next five years, Haier aims to develop its service robot division into an independent unit, becoming a leader in the domestic robotics industry.
Haier has already made preparations at the channel, service and product levels to vigorously promote the popularization of smart homes and the partnership with SBRG will enhance the strategies of both sides.
“The service robot is a natural extension and an effective complement to Haier’s smart home strategy,” said Wang Ye, Vice President of Haier Home Appliance Industry Group and General Manager of Advanced Innovation Center.
“Haier will continue to improve the features and functions available to consumers from service robots within smart homes and accelerate the development of the industry.”
Wang continued: “Furthermore, the cooperation between SBRG and Haier will allow both companies to explore new ways that robots can be used in both domestic and commercial settings.”