'Pepper' Is a Dancing Robot That Knows How You're Feeling (VIDEO)

Jun 05, 2014 04:53 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma


A new Japanese robot named Pepper can purportedly understand human emotions and could become a caretaker for the elderly next year.

Presented by Japanese technology company Softbank, the robot works through a cloud-based artificial intelligence system to analyze a person's tone of voice, gestures and expressions, The Telegraph reported.

The machine was developed by France-based Aldebaran Robotics, which Softbank acquired for around $100 million in 2012.

The robot will have a heart and emotions, according to Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son. Pepper will be able to imitate human movement by dancing to music, bowing in respect and moving its arms, The Telegraph reported.

"Being able to be considerate is my most important function," the robot said when it was recently presented to a crowd, according to Venture Beat.

At 4 feet tall and 63 pounds, Pepper has two arms and moves around on one leg, which allows it to have a longer battery life of 12 hours on a single charge.

The robot should be available at Softbank stores and online for around $1,950 starting in February 2015.

Japan's robotics market has been growing. Valued in 2012 at 860 billion yen, or $8.38 billion, robotics are expected to more than triple in value to 2.85 trillion yen by 2020, The Telegraph reported.

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