The humanoid robot, Pepper, has been given its first runway experience at a Tokyo fashion show which was held for the robot. The fashion show which was called the Tokyo Pepper Collection 2017, was part of the final stage in a competition to design an attire for the humanoid robot. The competition which was held in Tokyo, featured five final outfits, and this includes a childcare assistant outfit, an airport concierge, a clerk, a nurse and a construction worker. A video of the fashion show has also been uploaded by nippon.com, and if you would like to view it, you may do so at the end of this post.
The first prize went to the designer who designed the airport concierge uniform, and it was designed by Kirara Kashiwase, who managed to bag the grand prize of 100,000 yen ($900). On the other hand, the Special Jury Prize went to Kiyomi Saito, who designed the nurse's uniform. SoftBank Robotics has a service which offers clothes to owners of Pepper robots, so that they may clothe their humanoid robots. The service which was launched last year, has produced garments which are designed to be flexible, and also able to disperse heat. This is to ensure the robots do not overheat, and are able to move around as usual. Decorative stickers are also sold by the company, for the Pepper robots of course. Apparel for the robots are also produced by the Fukuoka company Bonuni, and it is expected that the company will produce the airport concierge uniform of this years winner.
Regarding the contest, Hasumi Kazutaka, the head of content marketing for SoftBank Robotics has said that the company plans to hold the contest again in the near future. Hasumi went on to say that he thought that it was crazy for robots to wear clothes, but then he realized that clothes would help differentiate the robots from each other, as they are after all identical in terms of facial features. Pepper was first launched by SoftBank in 2015, and it has been purchased and used by quite a number of companies. It is currently in service at restaurants, train stations, hospitals and airports.