Japan hopes this robot will help sell coffee

IDG News Service | Dec 2, 2014

Pepper is a humanoid robot that’s helping to sell Nescafe coffee machines for Nestle Japan.

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In Japan, Hollywood celebrities sell coffee. But at this electronics store in Tokyo, a new kind of salesman is promoting the pleasures of a cup of joe.
Pepper is a humanoid robot that’s helping to sell Nescafe coffee machines for Nestle Japan.
It tells people which machine is right for them, and then human sales staff take over.
Unlike Kawada Industries’ Nextage robot, which recently showed off its barista skills at a demo cafe, Pepper can’t prepare coffee itself.
But what it lacks in abilities, it tries to make up for with charm and a squeaky voice.
Customers can interact with Pepper by answering its questions or by touching its chest.
And that’s more than you can do with George Clooney, Nestle’s other spokesman in Japan.
CLIP in English: Miki Kanoh, Nestlé Japan spokeswoman
Pepper was developed as a household product by Aldebaran Robotics of France and Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank, but it’s already had two jobs.
Nestle is Pepper’s first job apart from working in SoftBank stores, where it helped launch the iPhone 6.
Nestle has 4 Peppers around Tokyo so far, and plans to increase that number to 20 this month and then about 1,000 by the end of next year.
And even though it’s no barista, SoftBank plans to launch Pepper as a home communications robot in 2015.
In Tokyo, Tim Hornyak, IDG News Service