Pepper is a cute, friendly robot that has been updated over the years to provide services like taking your order at a restaurant, offering info at transport hubs, and even selling smartphones in Japan. However, Pepper’s latest update could be its most important one.
SoftBank Robotics, the company that makes Pepper, have updated the humanoid robot so it now has the ability to scan someone and see if they’re wearing a face mask. This will come in handy in places where wearing a face mask or covering is required. The new update will initially be rolled out in European countries like France, who requires that people over the age of 11 wear a mask while out in public, by SoftBank Robotics Europe.
Pepper is able to scan up to five human faces at once thanks to its image recognition AI and Single Shot Detector. Once Pepper snaps a picture and scans a subject’s face, that information is displayed on its touch screen tablet. Those wearing a mask will have a green circle displayed over their face, however, if someone does not have a mask on, a red circle will appear over their face. Pepper will also verbally thank people for wearing a mask, while reminding those who do not have a face covering to put one on.
SoftBank Robotics Europe has confirmed that no personal information will be stored or used after being scanned. But Pepper will provide basic daily analytics like the percentage of people who were wearing a mask compared to those who weren’t.
SoftBank Robotics hope that the new update will both encourage more people to wear a face-covering while also helping businesses stay safe as they gradually reopen.
Take a look at Pepper the Robot in action below: