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Aldebaran Pepper Interview - Magali Cubier

Hi Guys and welcome, I am Philip English from Robophil.com and on this video we are doing a quick Interview with Magali Cubier from Aldebaran Robotics. We managed to speak to Magali at the Innorobo 2015 Robot Exhibition in France, Lyon. 

Since 2005, Aldebaran have chosen to drive technology into the future by making and designing humanoid robots for the well-being of humans. Their robots are cute, interactive, emotional and constantly evolving. NAO, Pepper and Romeo are the first members of the Aldebaran family.

Philip: Hi guys! Right. Can you just introduce yourself?

Magali: Hello. So I’m Magali Cubier, Marketing Director of the Aldebaran

Philip: Brilliant! Now, she’s going to give us a quick interview of Pepper the robot.

Magali: Okay. So I will introduce you to Pepper, same spirit as NAO, he’s a humanoid robot, so there is a few differences, as you can see we don’t have the legs but then we have more autonomy that is a new compromise but the spirit is the same and it is a companion robot. So the main purpose is, you know, interaction, interacting with the user and understanding the environment, so we still have the sensors, cameras, laser, all sorts of sensors. The main, I think, use of pepper today is, we have, one use in B2B, which is to welcome people in a retail store, to you know welcome them have a first interaction, introduce a product, this kind of first interaction when you get into a store and obviously, you know, customer they like to interact with a robot, that’s a very useful for a traffic.

Philip: Yeah! So I know SoftBank have release these and they are using them, is it in there stores? is that right?

Magali: So they are using the, they are using Pepper, that was the first use, in the soft bank mobile stores and we are also using it in Nescafe stores, it is the same principle, introducing the product and entertaining the customers while they are getting in the retailed stores. And we just like two weeks ago we started the B2C, sales with the 1,000 lots that, you know, wandered in 1 minute, that was quiet fast.

Philip: So is that to end users or businesses?

Magali: That was all end users but we find out that was kind of a 50/50 mix of you know customers, so half of them are kind of small companies that want to and try and half of them are like really want to market customers and then the usage and the intention are the same as the you know companion robots and we also talked about emotion but it’s you know, for me, the main idea behind that is re-understanding what’s going on around the robot and that Pepper understands what’s going on, so it can see whether you are happy or sad and then, you know, start different application depending on how you, how the robot feels you, the atmosphere is around.

Philip: Yeah! I understand. So how long do you think it’ll be, until maybe this release in the UK?

Magali: That’s a good question. So far, we don’t have plan outside of Japan, really waiting to see how things are going in Japan. We had this first lot of 1,000. I think we’ll have another lots on the summer and then I think we can see really, you know, how fast we can expand, how it’s working. We also need, you know, take care of fleet service and put all logistics and place and that is also why we want to be sure and be careful.

Philip: I mean has you got in stores like similar to NAO?

Magali: We have the exactly the same system, so, when the B2C customers when they get to Pepper, they get  a channel of applications and then we are also opening, we call it the developer program but that’s the first, the opportunity for developers to register to get the, even if they don’t have the robot, to get the Choreograph software, they can get the OS, they can get, you know, playing with it, thinking of an applications and the idea is that to have more applications to enrich what we can do with Pepper.

Philip: To build an application so that when you have the robot, you can download more applications from the stores, like in this in the NAO really, the same sort of thing

Magali: Yeah! that’s the same and right now, it comes with like 200 applications but that’s part of the channel and the description and then the idea is we got more applications as we go and as we get a better understanding of the user in general, and how the people use the robot.

Philip: Can you use them like a telepresence robot as well?

Magali: Sorry?

Philip: Can you use them as a telepresence robot, can you log into him on a iPhone and see through his camera and use telepresence?

Magali: We have application and it’s you know sending messages but we don’t, we are not using the telepresence in this stage, when there is a 3D camera, there is a wifi, everything to do that, but that’s you know, will see if that’s an application we need to develop

Philip: So in Japan, so see you got Nescafe and the bank, so someone comes in the store and see the robot, they got like advertising on the screen?

Magali: They got either, usually what this start with is kind of interaction and they may have some product introduction that’s different depending on you know, for SoftBank, for Nescafe or you know, a bank, that will be different and that’s a mix. What we are trying to do is that I think you know a mix of tablet where you can show things and Pepper can give some explanation bank and be more interactive, then just tablet. But the idea is to have really have both types of interaction.

Philip: Okay. That’s a great overview Pepper. That’s very much appreciate. So thank you very much. Thank you very much.

Magali: Thank you.

Brilliant! Thanks Guys, I hope you enjoyed the interview and I want to say a big thank you to Magali from Aldebaran for his time and  the interview.

If you want to learn more about Aldebaran, I have put links below.

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Aldebaran Interview YouTube: https://youtu.be/v3uIQjCjmMs

Philip English: https://philipenglish.com

Sponsor: Robot Center: http://www.robotcenter.co.uk