SoftBank Robotics America, Inc. announced an enhanced feature set for Pepper, the humanoid robot, including front of office capabilities such as receptionist or concierge to greet and attend to guests more efficiently. Pepper will also have the added integration of chatbot functionality which offers deeper engagements and enhanced conversation – a key part of Pepper’s evolution as a true business solution.

The enhanced and customizable feature sets are not only modular but will complement the existing content management solutions for marketers that launched in May 2017. Each added functionality will provide customers with immediate, amiable, and innovative engagements while creating a lasting impression. Most importantly, all features, including the chatbot and facial recognition integrations, were designed with the non-technical user in mind, allowing businesses to customize Pepper without the need for expensive technical overhead, or development prowess.

“We’re coming to a point in Pepper’s life cycle where we can truly support the industries Pepper is meant to serve,” said Steve Carlin, Chief Strategy Officer at SBRA. “The evolution of robot-centric technologies will create more meaningful and dynamic interactions with Pepper, and other social robots. Our goal for Pepper is to be more helpful to human colleagues while putting consumers face-to-face with robotics today.”

Pepper Chatbot Integration Overview:

Progressing Pepper’s functionality has been the number one priority for SBRA this past year. The new chatbot integration feature for Pepper is SBRA’s answer to tackling the conversation experience while helping customers meet their business goals through Pepper.

Pepper’s friendly, physical form factor brings abstract chatbot technology to life ensuring each interaction will be informative and flexible while delivering a more impactful customer service experience. The conversational user experience integration brings more personalized and enhanced interactions between Pepper and guests through a dynamic set of skills including:

  • Rapid and easy deployment of natural language processing and machine learning capabilities on Pepper
  • Improved customer experiences through more engaging and personalized campaigns
  • A modern two-way communication platform that’s natural and easy to use
  • Efficient and diverse interactions through intent matching and multi-threaded conversations
  • Adaptability to multiple customer requests and interactions

While this current Pepper solution is built on Microsoft Azure infrastructure, customers can easily integrate their own chatbot onto Pepper through leading cloud-based chatbot platforms including Dialogflow and MSBot by partnering with Satisfi Labs Inc. or leveraging their own engineering teams.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with SoftBank Robotics on the first successful chatbot integrations with Pepper in North America. The success of Pepper at Mall of America and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, is unmatched in today’s environment,” said Don White, CEO of Satisfi Labs Inc. (“Satisfi”). “The chatbot integrations offer an exciting experience for guests, creating a personal and intelligent connection with Pepper and a unique encounter at each location.”

Pepper’s Front of Office Capabilities:

These new feature sets allow Pepper to serve as a first point of contact for almost any business, offering up an unexpected and engaging first impression that is both informational and friendly. Pepper is the ideal solution for businesses that put a premium on making a great first impression, providing value to while allowing staff to focus on more nuanced and meaningful duties. Pepper as a greeter could include the following:

  • Enhance any lobby or front office experience as the first point of contact for a business needing a receptionist or concierge.
  • Connect visitors to their host via a dedicated guest sign in feature with notification functionality from Pepper via text message alerts.
  • Bring a company’s story to life through proactive and entertaining interactions
  • Create deeper engagements through a dedicated and customizable web-based FAQ application.

Pepper is currently available with packages starting at $25,000.