Pepper is that cute and adorable humanoid robot created by SoftBank – one of the top mobile carriers in Japan – and Aldebaran Robotics. This week at Google I/O, SoftBank announced that Pepper will be opening up to Android via an official SDK, which is an invitation to the thousands of Android developers out there to create code for the robot.
Make no mistake about it, Pepper the robot has already been designed with being a companion robot in mind. In that sense, the AI and responses are already good to begin with, if not a bit canned and err… well, robot-sounding. Check out the video below as USA Today correspondent Jennifer Jolly comes facte to face with Pepper.
But with an official Android SDK out, this will open Pepper’s code more to interactions and functions that can be done via interaction with Android smartphones and mobile devices. This promises more complex interactions and meaningful conversations with the robot. Just imagine if we mount a deep-learning capability to Pepper, the possibilities will open up.
SoftBank also announced that it is opening a Pepper-centric office in Sans Francisco to enhance connections with both the US market and US-based Android developers. It won’t be long until we begin to see Pepper in US homes. But the Android SDK is probably more exciting, and what innovations and features it will bring.