Pepper, the doe-eyed humanoid robot developed by SoftBank and Aldebaran Robotics, will soon be open to more developers. At Google I/O this week, SoftBank announced that little Pepper is getting an Android SDK. The Japanese company will also open a Pepper-centric outpost in San Francisco later this year.
When The Verge's Sam Byford met with Pepper in 2014, he thought its responses felt cold and canned, despite SoftBank's insistence that the humanoid was emotional. But as Pepper is opened to more developers, it should be able to have more complex interactions with humans. Pepper already has a Watson SDK, and SoftBank says RoboApps developed on its own Choregraphe platform will be compatible with Android-supported Peppers.
Developer models of Pepper will be available in the US for presale in July. Pepper will set you back JPY 198,000 (around $1,800). The beta version of the Android SDK is available now.
And now, a scene from Frankenthumb, about naming your invented creatures Pepper: