Companies are making human-like robots and they think they've stumbled on the biggest thing since the iPhone
Cadie Thompson for Business Insider: Downloading apps on your own personal robot may become as common as downloading apps on your smartphone.
Robot makers Jibo and Blue Frog Robotics are creating social robots that are aimed at living with humans and in order to entice consumers they are selling them for about the same cost as an iPhone.
Jibo’s robot called Jibo is priced at about $749 for pre-order and Blue Frog Robotics’ robot called Buddy is priced at $549.
But these companies are also promising consumers that these little live-in robots are going to become the biggest platform since Apple’s iPhone, capable of performing all kinds of functions via apps.
“It’s like the iPhone, if we want to reach the mainstream and have success we need many very interesting apps,” said Frack de Visme, the chief financial officer of Blue Frog Robotics.
“We are going to have an open system so many developers can develop and create amazing apps so that it become mainstream.” Cont'd...
The initial batch of Pepper robots developed by Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank Corp and manufactured by Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group sold out in one minute on the first day it went on sale in Japan.
The 1,000 Pepper robots available for purchase in June sold out in 60 seconds when online orders started at 10 am on Saturday, according to a statement from SoftBank Robotics Corp, a robotics venture formed by SoftBank, Foxconn and Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group.
Orders are no longer being taken and additional sales of Pepper, which sells for 198,000 yen (US$1,625), are scheduled to be announced on SoftBank's website in July.
In addition to Pepper's emotion recognition functions, the robot generates emotions autonomously by processing information from its cameras, touch sensors, accelerometer and other sensors within its "endocrine-type multi-layer neural network," SoftBank said.
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