Hong Kong Filmart: Robot to Present Children's TV Show in Japan

AP Images/Invision
Pepper the robot

Producers says SoftBank's Pepper will be the world's first automaton to front a daily television program.

A humanoid robot known as Pepper will be a presenter on the Oha-sta morning children's television show on TV Tokyo on Apr. 6, the first time an automaton will front a daily show anywhere in the world, according to producers.

Pepper will be talking, dancing and playing games on the show, which has been created by Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, a subsidiary of the heavyweight manga and book publishers Shogakukan.

The four-foot (1.2-meter) robot, touted as the world's first automaton that can read human emotions, was developed by Alderbaran Robotics for Japan's SoftBank, which bought the French company for $100 million in 2012.

Pepper is connected to its cloud-based intelligence software via Wi-Fi. It is equipped with four microphones, two high-definition cameras, touch sensors, two sonar units, six lasers and a 3D sensor behind its eyes that allows it to perceive depth.

The robot was launched last summer and is now on sale for $1,660 (¥198,000) and greets customers at some of SoftBank's mobile phone shops in Japan.

SoftBank invested $250 million in Legendary Pictures last November after it failed to agree to terms for a takeover of DreamWorks Animation.

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