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Developers look to widen repertoire of Pepper, Japan's laughing robot

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Sandra Wilson
May 20, 2016 06:04

View photosMoreBoard Director of Product Division for SoftBank Robotics Kazutaka Hasumi R performs with SoftBank's emotion-reading robot Pepper during a demonstration with the robot, to show its compatibility with Google's Android software, at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, May 19, 2016.

REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO Reuters - Japanese developers of a robot are asking the public to come up with ideas for what their waist-high humanoid can do and they are offering a software development kit for programmers to get creative.

The fast-selling robot, known as Pepper, can already laugh and serve coffee and is being used as a waiter, salesman and customer service representative in about 500 companies in Japan, including Nestle, Mizuho Bank and Nissan.

Now its creators, SoftBank Corp, have started offering a kit, Pepper SDK for Android Studio, that will allow programmers to develop new tasks.

The offer comes ahead of the July pre-sale launch of the robot in the United States.

The first six batches of the robot, each averaging 1,000 units, sold out in less than a minute.

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Sandra Wilson
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