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Developers Look to Widen Repertoire of Pepper, Japan’s Laughing Robot | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Board Director of Product Division for SoftBank Robotics Kazutaka Hasumi (R) performs with SoftBank’s emotion-reading robot Pepper during a demonstration with the robot, to show its compatibility with Google’s Android software, at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Japanese developers of the fast-selling robot, Pepper, are currently requesting from the public to be creative and come up with ideas for what their waist-high humanoid can do. Moreover, Pepper’s developers are offering a software development kit for programmers to get imaginative.

The Japanese robot, commonly known as Pepper, already acts like humans with the ability to laugh and serve coffee. Thus, it is being used as a waiter, salesman and customer service representative in about 500 companies in Japan, including Nestle, Mizuho Bank and Nissan.

Its creators, SoftBank Corp, have now started offering a kit, Pepper SDK for Android Studio, which will give programmers the permission to develop new tasks. Noting that the offer comes ahead of the July pre-sale launch of the robot in the United States.

Pepper, which costs 198,000 yen ($1,800), has been in high demand in Japan. The first six batches of the robot, each averaging 1,000 units, sold out in less than a minute.