Pepper Robot Getting Ready to Take Orders at Pizza Hut

By Eric Scheiner | May 24, 2016 | 1:33pm EDT

Pizza Hut is about to get a dose of Pepper.

The Verge reports Pepper, the humanoid robot, is expected to take and process customer orders in Pizza Hut restaurants in Singapore by the end of 2016.

It starts with an innocent, friendly hello. From there, MasterCard holders can pair their account with Pepper by using the MasterPass wallet app or scanning a QR code on the tablet attached to Pepper's chest. Pepper will help Pizza Hut visitors make menu selections with personalized recommendations and special offers,” The Verge article states.

SoftBank Robotics photo of Pepper.

A MasterCard press release on Pepper says, “Consumers have come to expect personalized service, customized offers and simple and seamless processes both in-store and online,” said Tobias Puehse, vice president, innovation management, Digital Payments & Labs at MasterCard. “The app’s goal is to provide consumers with more memorable and personalized shopping experience beyond today’s self-serve machines and kiosks, by combining Pepper’s intelligence with a secure digital payment experience via MasterPass.”

SoftBank Robotics Corporation has been selling the talking units since 2015. They claim the short, humanoid robot with large eyes, a touch screen chest, and gesturing arms and hands is able to read human expressions and generate emotions. 

“In addition to Pepper’s emotion recognition functions, Pepper has capabilities to generate emotions autonomously by processing information from his cameras, touch sensors, accelerometer and other sensors within his “endocrine-type multi-layer neural network,” SoftBank says in a press release on the robot.

MasterCard says having Pepper run the MasterCard app has a lot of potential.

“The integration with Pepper has the potential to open up opportunities in the world of retail such as personalized shopping and concierge services, in-aisle checkout and the ability to buy in store but get the goods delivered at home. The same capability would also be applicable to other consumer engagement locations such as hotels, banks, airports, and other customer service industries,” the release says.

Basic developer models of Pepper are available from SoftBank for $1,801. Costs to install an app and maintain the robot are variable depending on the program. 

In comparision, a full-time $10.00 an hour minimum wage job results in a monthly paycheck of $1,733.

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