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Humanoid 'Pepper' Robot Needs US Android Programmers ( 29

An anonymous reader quotes a report from USA Today: Japan-based SoftBank Robotics announced Wednesday at Google I/O, the company's annual developer's conference, that it is opening a new Pepper-focused outpost in San Francisco and unveiling an Android SDK, or software development kit, in the hopes of enticing programmers to write code for the robot. Asked if SoftBank will roll out at SDK for iOS developers, Carlin says he wouldn't rule anything out but "for the moment Android is the pervasive language." Pepper is a white hard-plastic robot with humanoid features such as large eyes and arms as well as a display screen for a chest. The robot is said to be able to read human emotions by processing visual and vocal inputs through its various microphones and cameras. Its purpose is to be "much more than a robot, he is a genuine humanoid companion created to communicate with you in the most natural and intuitive way," according to the company's website. Pepper already has been deployed commercially in Japan, where it is used to greet customers at 140 SoftBank Mobile stores as well as help take orders at fast food eateries and discuss car model details at dealerships. Carlin says programmers working on Pepper-related tech will get access to "a best in class developer portal" that includes a developer forum, links to robotics workshops, access to SoftBank's engineering team and scientific details about Pepper. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) at Google I/O, which the company claims advances machine learning capability by a factor of three generations.
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Humanoid 'Pepper' Robot Needs US Android Programmers

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  • We don't like the overseas time zones and with H1B's we can chain them to the job.

  • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @05:30PM (#52144545) Homepage Journal
    Such big, innocent trusting eyes.
    Oh man, they're going to eat you up. I can't wait to see the depravity they inflict on Pepper.

    Also, WTF, no legs?! This is 2016, a robot should be able to walk around like God and Lewis Padgett intended!
  • It looks about as humanoid as some toys by Fisher Price [].
  • First thing I am going to program for this robot is have it shoot nerf guns any anyone it perceives as sad. It will then Speak: "Turn that frown upside down meatbag".

    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      It will then Speak: "Turn that frown upside down meatbag".

      Followed by "You have twenty seconds to comply."

  • We'll sure be able to afford cell phones, fast food and new cars when our jobs are automated!

  • Is there a better way to do Android programming rather than Eclipse or Google's Android Studio? Is it feasible to just use a text editor and only really miss out on the virtual devices and other features? Android Studio makes my old laptop overheat to the point it would probably melt with long-term use. I literally cannot let it just sit there without even doing anything on it. Eclipse is almost as bad and I have had to spend hours just waiting for tons of shit to download.

    • Well, I do not know about a "better" way, but some of the tools in the Pepper SDK (like the robot simulator) are standalone executables so you could certainly manage to run them independently. On the ther hand there is no doc for doing this, so you would need some messing arround to figure it out.
  • "Bender" mode.
  • The OP is about a robot but the editor note is about TPU's which are never mentioned in the OP or article.

    • by wjcofkc ( 964165 )
      Don't worry, I'm sure someone will come out with an app you can side load. Although I am still sure how you would go about fucking it.
  • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @07:04PM (#52145347)

    Reading about humanoid robots needing American android programmers got me really confused.

    • by wjcofkc ( 964165 )
      Your post is currently rated as funny, although I am not sure if you meant it to be. It took me a minute to figure out the the Android SDK is not the Android SDK. If I am mistaken, Id'e like to hook one up and switch the values for sd card and internal storage. One reboot and you just might end up with a psychopathic killer bot.
    • by Kyont ( 145761 )

      "Humans' 'Droids Humanize Droids!" - Details after the jump...

  • Here's a link to the documentation, as it seems to be kind of hard to find through Google: [] Note that the SDK contains a virtual robot so you can use it even if you do not have a Pepper.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak