INSIDE:

NEWS/STORIES/ARTICLES
Book Reviews
Columns/Opinion/Cartoon
Films
Covid Information
International
National

NW/Local
Recipes
Special A.C.E. Stories

Sports
Online Paper (PDF)

CLASSIFIED SECTION
Bids & Public Notices

NW Job Market

NW RESOURCE GUIDE

Consulates
Organizations
Scholarships
Special Sections

Asian Reporter Info

About Us

Advertising Info.

Contact Us
Subscription Info. & Back Issues


FOLLOW US
Facebook

Twitter

 

 

ASIA LINKS
Currency Exchange

Time Zones
More Asian Links
 


Copyright © 1990 - 2021
AR Home

 

International News


From The Asian Reporter, V31, #7 (July 5, 2021), pages 5.

Japanís SoftBank says Pepper robot remains "alive" and well

By Yuri Kageyama

The Associated Press

TOKYO ó Japanese technology company SoftBank denies itís pulling the plug on its friendly, talking, bubble-headed Pepper robot.

"There is absolutely no change to our Pepper business," SoftBank Robotics Corp. spokesperson Ai Kitamura said.

Pepper, introduced seven years ago, is centered around a rentals business, and production is regularly adjusted, the Tokyo-based company said.

While production was halted temporarily, Kitamura denied reports that set off speculation Pepper might be "killed."

The company acknowledged the contracts of 330 workers at the Paris division of SoftBank Robotics were being reviewed, but the move was routine and did not spell a death knell for Pepper.

If anything, the need for social distancing during the pandemic has boosted demand for robots like Pepper, which are sometimes used to take peopleís temperatures in stores.

Pepper robots, which have expressive hands but move around on wheels, have been cheering and dancing in the stands for the home games of the SoftBank Hawks Japanese professional baseball team in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan.

And Pepperís latest gig involves computer programming education in Japanese schools.

Robotics technology is widely used in manufacturing production lines and the transport of goods around the world.

But SoftBank Group Corp. founder and chief Masayoshi Son and other experts say Japanese have a soft spot for robots like Pepper that look somewhat human and sometimes appear to show emotion.

Kitamura said the outpouring of reaction from Pepper fans was appreciated, and showed it has become a beloved icon.

"So many people said they would be sad if Pepper is gone," she said.

* * *

Read The Asian Reporter in its entirety!
Go to <www.asianreporter.com/completepaper.htm>!