Huffpost Technology

This $1,930 Robot Was Created To Be Your Friend

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Who needs real friends when you can have a robot pal? Meet Pepper, a spiffy new android who can hang out, make jokes, talk and dance.

Unveiled on Thursday in Tokyo by SoftBank, Pepper will go on sale in Japan early next year for $1,930.

Pepper is 4 feet tall, weighs just over 60 pounds and has 20 motors powering movements in its head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers, hips, knees and more. It also has a 10.1-inch touch display on the front, and synchronizes with a cloud-based database for access to information.

Best of all, Pepper will come equipped with voice-recognition capabilities that will not only understand what you're saying, but how you're feeling when you say it.

"With these technologies, people can enjoy communicating with Pepper in a natural way, just like they would with friends and family," SoftBank said in a news release.

The Japanese telecom giant says the robot will be on display at some of its stores later this week. If you don't want to fly to Japan, you can check out the video above. It's in Japanese, but you'll be able to get a sense of the machine's personality at work.

"People describe others as being robots because they have no emotions, no heart. For the first time in human history, we're giving a robot a heart, emotions," Masayoshi Son, chief executive of SoftBank, said at a press conference, according to the BBC.

The company will also release a software development kit so that programmers can create apps to expand the robot's capabilities.

Pepper was jointly developed with Aldebaran, a French robotics company mostly owned by SoftBank.

”For the past nine years, I've believed that the most important role of robots will be as kind and emotional companions to enhance our daily lives, to bring happiness, constantly surprise us and make people grow,” Bruno Maisonnier, founder and CEO of Aldebaran, said in a news release. “The emotional robot will create a new dimension in our lives and new ways of interacting with technology. It's just the beginning, but already a promising reality. Thanks to Pepper, the future begins today and we want all of you to be a part of it.”

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