|Softbank launches Pepper PARLOR, where Pepper robots will assist human staff serving customers / Credits: Mitch Altman via Flickr|
Softbank, a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Tokyo, is popular for developing a robot designed to connect, assist, and share knowledge with people called “Pepper.” The company aims to make Pepper a bridge of the digital world to the real world by doing several tasks. This includes making personalized recommendations, helping people find exactly what they’re looking for, and interacting with humans.
Since Pepper robots were launched in 2015, they have worked in several locations such as stores, hospitals, airports, and museums. Recently, Softbank announced that the robots will also be working in a coffee shop as they opened its first premium café called “Pepper PARLOR.” Pepper PARLOR, which is located at the Tokyu Plaza Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan, features an original menu of waffles, drinks, and more with an international flair.
According to Digital Trends, a technology news, lifestyle, and information website that publishes news, reviews, guides, how-to articles, descriptive videos and podcasts about technology and consumer electronics products, Softbank stated that this is their way of learning more about how people interact with robots. They wanted to improve the design of its current high-tech offerings. “We will be able to build know-how by managing the store on our own. That way we will be able to propose functions that companies want in robots,” SoftBank executive Kazutaka Hasumi said.
In the official website of Softbank Robotics, the company stated that robots will assist human staff to serve customers, offering fun services and entertainment. The robots that will be present in the café include 10 Pepper robots, which are tasked to take customer orders and interact with them at tables. Aside from them, NAO robots are also included, which will perform delicate, precisely choreographed dances. The AI cleaning robot named Whiz, on the other hand, will rely on its self-driving technology to clean Pepper PARLOR after hours.