The Pepper robot from SoftBank is now more accessible than ever before as it just became simpler to program. SoftBank's new browser-based Promoter app allows one to customize Pepper's greetings without being particularly tech-savvy, the company said in a release published on Monday. However, the simplicity of the customization will limit the kind of responses that Pepper is able to generate. According to SoftBank, the Promoter app can be used by anyone who's proficient enough to use Facebook, which implies that just about everyone will be able to utilize the tool to customize the Pepper robot. Bear in mind that one will be unable to have Pepper perform complex movements and nimble acrobatics with the Promoter app, but simple greetings and similar actions should be easy enough to program.
The sole presence of Pepper on any premises might be enough to draw in curious onlookers, especially children, and their parents could easily share their contact information with Pepper through the built-in Android-powered tablet, making it easier for the business to collect its client base information on the spot. Pepper interacts with the user by responding according to the input it receives and utilizes the visual data that it picks up to formulate a response after its algorithms take factors such as age, gender and emotions into consideration.
SoftBank continues to work on more complex solutions for its Pepper robot with the goal of evolving its robotics business. As part of that endeavor, the company is seemingly looking to ensure that Pepper is able to interact with users in a proper manner. It is not every day that one walks into a store and interacts with a robot like Pepper, so it makes sense to play to Pepper's strengths as it picks up crucial information from customers and users alike. At this point, Pepper is mostly used as a simple store greeter, meaning smaller business can hardly justify its $25,000 price tag, so it remains to be seen whether the increased ease-of-use will be able to help push Pepper sales as it debuts in the United States this July, but more details on the matter should be available shortly.