Nestle to 'hire' 1,000 robots to sell Nescafe in Japan
- Nestle S.A. has signed a deal to employ 1,000 humanoid robots to sell Nescafe's Nespresso coffee machines and pods.
- The world's largest food company will use the Pepper model built by France's Aldebaran. Pepper is quite popular in Japan, where the robot recently debuted at SoftBank branches. SoftBank owns a majority stake in Aldebaran.
- Pepper, who stands about waist high and comes with a tablet-style computer on its chest, is said to be capable of reading emotions and learning human communication styles.
Americans will have to wait a bit longer before going to a store to buy something from Pepper, but it won't be long at all, really. The robot is developing legions of fans, and it seems inevitable that Pepper will become common in multiple retail settings.
In the meantime, anyone can buy one of Aldebaran's other humanoid robots. Nao, which can be used as an educational or home aid, is growing popular as a way to reach children with autism.