The first batch of the chatty humanoid called Pepper will report to work by the end of the year at outlets that sell coffee capsules and home espresso machines.
“From December, they will start selling coffee machines for us at big retail stores,” Nestle Japan spokeswoman Miki Kano said. “We are sure that our customers will enjoy shopping and being entertained by robots.”
Pepper (pictured) has already been at work, chatting with customers at wireless giant SoftBank’s outlets and has proved an effective marketing tool for the Japanese mobile carrier, delighting managers who put it to work collecting customer opinions.
The 120-centimetre-tall robot, which moves on rollers and has what looks like a tablet computer strapped to its chest, was unveiled in June. Billed as an “emotional” robot that understands “70 to 80 percent of spontaneous conversations”, Pepper is set to go on the market from February, with a price tag of about $US2000 per robot.