R.I.P. Japan’s PEPPER robot


I first laughed about the lame humaniod Pepper robot of Softbank Japan back in 2015. Designed as receptionist for telecom giant Softbank’s phone stores, Pepper never had much value even a Walmart style greeter. Now all the Peppers are going into deep funk.

“ペッパー・パンデミック” meaning “Pepper Pandemic”?
Softbank’s Pepper robot was introduced in June 2014 so the Li batteries of the earlier model’s are at end-of-life. RIP-Pepper


Our previous reports of Japan’s crapbots include:



3 thoughts on “R.I.P. Japan’s PEPPER robot”

  1. Can you get a more useless robot than this baseballing Pepper®?

  2. Pepper_robot_off

    Poor Pepper got fired yet again.

    Robot fired from grocery store for utter incompetence
    ZDNet 2018-Jan-22
    A robot was just fired from a grocery store in Scotland for confusing some customers and freaking out others. The robot, a customized version of SoftBank’s Pepper humanoid, was programmed by Heriot-Watt University for Margiotta, a Scottish grocery chain. The retail experiment was orchestrated by the BBC
    Like Pepper robots in retail environments in Japan, the unit was also programmed to be something of a ham, able to tell jokes, dispense hugs, and engage in lively banter.
    At least that was the idea. In practice, Scottish customers didn’t want anything to do with the officious automaton. In part, it was a failure of the technology. Background noise in the store frequently prevented Fabio from understanding questions the first time asked.
    The robot also wasn’t particularly helpful, often giving vague directions to look “in the alcohol section” when asked for the location of a specific item.
    More telling, most patrons simply weren’t ready to engage with a machine when a human employee could be flagged down nearby.
    Soon Fabio was assigned to a lonely outpost at a far end of the store, where he shilled samples of shredded meat. After managers noticed customers actively avoiding the aisle with the robot, the decision was made to end the experiment
    {big snip}
    One interesting takeaway from the Edinburgh experiment is that Fabio did find advocates, albeit in an unlikely place. Rather than feel threatened, employees of Margiotta seemed to develop a real soft spot for the robot.
    “When we had to pack it up and put it back in the box,” says a surprised Dr. Oliver Lemon, director of the Interaction Lab at Heriot-Watt, which programmed the robot, “one of them started crying.”

    Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

  3. Meanwhile…
    Law enforcement officials announce that they have finally found a worthwhile application for Pepper the robot.
    Here’s Pepper demonstrating his anti-terrorist grenade launch pose:

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