Dr Nick Hawes writes for The Conversation:

Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications giant, is selling what it is calling “the world’s first personal robot that reads emotions”. Pepper is designed to be a highly interactive household companion and was developed by Aldebaran, the company behind the successful Nao robot. But Pepper may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

The major selling point of this robot, as highlighted by the developers, is that it is capable of emotional interaction with the people in its life. This is how they hope to avoid the unfortunate fate of other consumer household robots such as Aibo, which died out in 2005 and Wakamaru, which just never really took off.

On one level this seems a simple claim: we all have emotional interactions with technology in our lives. You only have to watch someone try to deal with a frozen computer, a stubborn car or a new smartphone to see how intense those emotions can be. But Pepper will not just be the recipient of one-way emotion, it will be able to recognise your emotions and learn to respond appropriately

Read the full article on The Conversation