SoftBank’s Robot ‘Pepper’ Set to Work in Taiwan - Dispatch Weekly

October 6, 2016 - Reading time: 5 minutes

Two banks and an insurance company in the capital Taipei have started to use SoftBank designed humanoid robots called “Pepper” to entertain and sell to customers.

The robots even sing and dance, offering aerobics sessions to staff members.

Perfect Customer Service

The robots are programmed to say to customers, “It’s my honor to serve you.”

They can share information on financial products before giving website and sales information to the customer.

The robot was given an ID card and joined First Commercial Bank staff in an exercise routine before greeting customers.

Chang Cheng-kang, a bank customer said, “I think this is pretty good for customers… to kill time or to have more fun interacting with Pepper.”

Who is Pepper the Robot?

Photo Credit: SoftBank
Photo Credit: SoftBank

On the SoftBank website Pepper the robot is described as, “kindly, endearing and surprising.”

The robot is the first humanoid robot to Perceive Emotions, adapting its behavior to the mood of the person.

More than 140 SoftBank Mobile stores in Japan are using Pepper to welcome customers.

Pepper also became the first humanoid robot to be adopted in Japanese homes.

The $1,900 Robot to Replace Customer Service Jobs

Photo Credit: SoftBank
Photo Credit: SoftBank

The $1,900 robot is an example of how Internet of things, applications and data sharing can change the future of jobs.

Already, SoftBank’s robots are being used as salesmen, waiters and customer service representative across 500 companies in Japan, including Nissan.

Other foreign companies like Nescafe and Pizza Hut also used one to showcase their embrace of future technologies.

SoftBank Bought ARM for $31.4 billion this September

SoftBank bought ARM, a UK processor designs company that makes smartphone parts.

These parts also power lightweight VR headsets, Internet of Things and wearables.

This has ensured that Softbank is becoming a global force in the tech supply chain industry.

More Robots in Sales Jobs to Come

Photo Credit: SoftBank
Photo Credit: SoftBank

First Commercial, a unit of First Financial Holding Co. plans to use 20 Peppers whilst Cathay Life Insurance aims to use 10 robots in the near future.

Rachel Wang, the Cathay Life Insurance’s executive vice president said:

“Pepper’s job is to greet customers and introduce products to make the wait for services less boring.”

“We hope it can do more in the future, but it definitely won’t replace our staff.”

Do you think SoftBank ‘Pepper’ robots will overtake customer service jobs in the near future and is this good or bad?

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.