The Pepper humanoid robot, which was introduced with features such as face recognition and emotion, was recently taken off the production line due to lack of demand, and reports indicate that production has stopped completely. In addition, Softbank wants to streamline some of its robotics workforce.
According to reports Reuters, The Japanese company Softbank has stopped producing the Pepper robot since last year and is adjusting part of its robotic business force in different countries. Apparently, the demand for this robot was not enough and Softbank has produced only 27,000 of these devices so far.
News Agency Nikkei In a separate report, he confirmed that the production of the Pepper robot was stopped due to poor reception, but the representative of Softbank denied the complete closure of the production line of this robot. “If demand resumes, we will continue to produce,” he said.
When the Pepper robot was first launched in 2015, its inventory ran out in less than a minute because the company had only produced a thousand of these robots for release. Pepper was designed to identify human faces and emotions and to communicate with people. Most of the Pepper robots were sold to Softbank customers, but the robot also found its way into Japanese mobile phone stores.
At $ 1,600, the Pepper robot was too expensive for developers and small businesses. Sources at Reuters say another reason for the robot’s low sales was its limited functionality and lack of Pepper reliability. In addition, Softbank was unable to develop Pepper capabilities due to cultural conflicts between its French business, which is responsible for robotics projects, and the Japanese management of the company.
Pepper has been increasingly marginalized since Softbank shifted its focus to cleaning robots like Whiz. Now Reuters says the company will cut half of its 330 employees in France by September and halve its sales force in the United States and Britain.