Why Your New BFF Might Be This Robot
If you thought Rosie, the humanoid maid from The Jetsons, was a thing of the distant future, think again. Created by Aldebaran for SoftBank Mobile, Pepper the Robot is the first humanoid robot who can live with humans. If you need a household robot like Rosie who can cook, wash your windows and do your bidding, you’re out of luck. On the other hand, if you’re on the hunt for a new friend who will listen to you and share the joys of everyday life with you, Pepper the Robot can help.
A good friend isn’t simply someone who is there when you need a shoulder to cry on, but also one who can provide understanding feedback. That’s what gives Pepper a leg up over your pets. When you laugh, Pepper recognizes that you are happy. When you frown, Pepper knows that something is bothering you and tries to cheer you up by playing your favorite song. Pepper is programmed to understand the universal emotions of joy, surprise, sadness, anger and doubt through the facial expressions, body language and words that you communicate. Pepper, in turn, responds to you through comical gestures and voice, and can even sing and dance!
When you think about the solid friendships you’ve had since childhood, these relationships have probably evolved over time as the two of you matured and changed. Pepper the Robot gets to know you in the same organic way, learning about your tastes and adapting over time to become a better friend to you. This curiosity enables Pepper to learn and self-improve.
Pepper already greets and interacts with customers in SoftBank stores in Japan, but the goal is to place him in average households and businesses, transforming the concept of robots from insensitive automatons into intuitive, caring friends. According to the manufacturer, the robot sold out within one minute of going on sale, so you’ll have to wait a bit to add Pepper to your life. Luckily, the robots will go on sale in the United States and Europe next year. While you can’t put a price on friendship, Peppers are going for $1,600 per unit, with a monthly fee of $200.
Let us know in the comments below if you think the world is ready for social robots!
(Images via Aldebaran)
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!