Humanoid robot market to grow to $4 billion in five years

The market for humanoid robots is forecast to grow to $4 billion in about five years, according to a new report by ReportsnReports

The researcher values the current market at approximately $320 million in 2017. So that would mean annual growth of more than 50 per cent.

Humanoids include such robots as Pepper and Nao, which are owned by SoftBank Robotics, as well as Emiew, produced by Hitachi, and Honda’s famous Asimo, although that one is more of an exhibition robot.

The others, like Nao and Pepper, for example, are already finding many buyers. SoftBank says it has sold 10,000 units of Nao, and it releases batches of 1,000 at a time of the Pepper robot, and it sells out online within minutes.  Continue reading Humanoid robot market to grow to $4 billion in five years

Paris city hall gives jobs to Pepper and Nao robots

Pepper and Nao now busy working at the city hall of the fifteenth district of Paris

Paris has become the first city in France, and one of the few cities in the world, to have employed humanoid robots in its city hall. 

The city hall of the fifteenth district of Paris has just received two robots created by SoftBank Robotics, namely the Pepper and Nao robots.

The two small robots also integrate applications powered by the Hoomano company.  Continue reading Paris city hall gives jobs to Pepper and Nao robots

Telecommunications company Sprint to employ Pepper robot for customer relations

US telecommunications company Sprint is employing Pepper, the humanoid robot from SoftBank Robotics, for customer relations.

SoftBank Robotics America and Sprint to will initially place Pepper in locations where it will interact with Sprint business clients and retail customers.

Pepper is said to be the first humanoid marketing platform that could help businesses and consumers embrace the power of robotics and artificial intelligence.  Continue reading Telecommunications company Sprint to employ Pepper robot for customer relations

Pepper lands a job on luxury cruise liner

costa cruises pepper robot

Costa Cruises is bringing five of the latest generation of Pepper robots on board the flagship of the fleet, to entertain guests during their vacations

Costa Diadema, flagship of the Costa Cruises fleet, has introduced Pepper, the first robot in the world able to recognize main human emotions and proactively interact with the surrounding environment.

Five Pepper robots will be operative on all seven-day cruises of the Costa’s flagship in the Western Mediterranean: their task will be to entertain cruise passengers, making their on board experience even more unique and unforgettable.

This innovation, unique in the cruise industry, is the result of an agreement signed between the Italian cruise company and SoftBank Robotics (formerly Aldebaran), part of SoftBank Group, announced late last year.  Continue reading Pepper lands a job on luxury cruise liner

SoftBank to buy ARM

softbank-pepper-robot

Japanese communications giant SoftBank is to acquire ARM Holdings for £24.3 billion, according to a report on the Financial Times website

SoftBank has been on something of a spending spree in recent years and is looking to raise its profile in markets outside of Asia, where it is already well-known.

The company is particularly interested in computer technology –including artificial intelligence, robotics and automation — and the proposed takeover of ARM would seem to fit into this plan.  Continue reading SoftBank to buy ARM

Robots being employed as receptionists and office managers

betty robot strands project
Some robot to watch over the workers

Japanese people may have become somewhat accustomed to the sight of a robot greeting them when they enter a store or some such place since robots have been employed as receptionists in Japan for some time now. 

However, Europe is catching up, with new reports of two separate instances of robots being employed as receptionists.

In one report, the Guardian highlights the employment of Pepper, the SoftBank robot, now greeting visitors and patients at hospitals in Liege and Ostend, in Belgium.

In another report, the Telegraph showcases Betty the robot, who is employed managing an office in Milton Keynes, UK. Developed by the Strands Project, Betty may not be as aesthetically pleasing as Pepper, but she has more responsibilities, such as checking to see if staff are working late and if doors are closed and so on.

Accenture and SoftBank Robotics combine to offer insight into future of customer relations

Accenture’s Peter Lacy with Pepper the robot
Accenture’s Peter Lacy with Pepper the robot

In the future, all customer relations could be managed by robots. That’s what science fiction films have been telling us for decades. And now, perhaps more than ever, that vision is becoming more real than ever. 

As part of a newly announced collaboration with SoftBank Robotics to reimagine the future of digital customer interactions, Accenture Interactive demonstrated a new prototype based on the Pepper robot in Paris at Pepper Partners Europe event during InnoRobo (May 24-26), one of the world’s largest robotics events.

Pepper is the ground-breaking humanoid robot with the ability to read emotions that was developed by Softbank Robotics (previously Aldebaran Robotics) and first introduced in Japan in 2014.

The enhanced Pepper-based platform blends human and artificial intelligence, provided by Accenture Interactive, to deliver omni-channel customer service and commerce capabilities – including social media, mobile and in-store applications.  Continue reading Accenture and SoftBank Robotics combine to offer insight into future of customer relations

Costa Group to test Pepper humanoid robots on cruise liners

Pepper robot is being given employment on Costa Cruise liners
Pepper robot is being given employment on Costa Cruise liners

Cruise liner company Costa Group has signed an exclusive agreement with the French company Aldebaran for a pilot project with Pepper robots.

Aldebaran, which is a subsidiary of the SoftBank Group through SoftBank Robotics Corp, said the contract was worth more than a million euros.

Pepper is the world’s first robot that reads main human emotions, says the company, adding that it is ideally suited to help and delight guests on board of cruise ships. Aldebaran adds that Pepper will improve guest experience and provide help and entertainment on board the ships of the Costa Group’s cruise brands: AIDA and Costa.  Continue reading Costa Group to test Pepper humanoid robots on cruise liners

Cloud robotics: Talking cloud and saying nothing

Cloud robotics are enabling robots to access large amounts of computing power that their bodies do not have the physical space to accommodate. Hundreds if not tens of thousands of servers are potentially at the service of small robots which can be in remote locations well away from the nearest supercomputer or data centre, only being connected by, for example, Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

This allows robots to call on powerful, cloud-based applications, such as speech recognition and language, when they are interacting with their users.

At the moment, most cloud robotics systems are linked to specific robots. So, for example, SoftBank’s Pepper robot is linked to the cloud robotics artificial intelligence system developed by Cocoro, another SoftBank company.

Pepper has about 25 onboard sensors to collect a wide range of information – sight, sound, touch and movement. That covers three of the five senses that human beings generally use, the two missing are taste and smell.

Pepper can be connected to the internet through Wi-Fi or Ethernet, both of which are incorporated into the robot. Continue reading Cloud robotics: Talking cloud and saying nothing