Japanese operator SoftBank will start selling its humanoid robots named "Pepper" at Sprint (NYSE: S) stores in the U.S. by next summer. Pepper is a 4-foot-tall robot that can make jokes and guess human emotions based on expressions, and has 12 hours of battery life. The robot will go in sale in Japan in February for 198,000 yen (around $1,900) but the company hasn't set a U.S. price yet.
SoftBank has received between 300 and 400 inquiries about Pepper from companies in finance, food service and education, Fumihide Tomizawa, CEO of SoftBank Robotics, told Bloomberg. "We will sell Pepper in the United States within a year after gathering information in Japan," Tomizawa said. "I won't be surprised if Pepper sales will be half to business and half to consumers."
In July, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said he expects to enhance labor productivity by replacing 90 million jobs with 30 million robots. Article