There was no problem finding a home for the first batch of humanoid robots known as Pepper.
SoftBank Corp. said it sold out its entire stock of 1,000 in the first minute of sales Saturday morning.
Billed as the world’s first robot capable of understanding and reacting to human emotions, the 121-centimeter tall, white plastic robot can recognize human voices and read facial expressions and body language, as well as carry on basic conversations.
SoftBank said it is no longer taking orders for June and that plans for additional sales of the robot, designed by French subsidiary Aldebaran Robotics, will be announced in July.
Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder and chief executive, said Thursday that the company plans to produce around 1,000 units a month. The Japanese telecommunications giant also announced a partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group with an eye toward bringing Pepper to the global market.
Pepper’s price tag is ¥198,000 ($1,611), but to take full advantage of apps and other cloud-based functions, consumers need a service contract totaling nearly ¥25,000 a month over three years, including insurance.
Original Article: Wall Street Journal