When I used to work for an NGO/NPO called Living Dreams in Tokyo which provides digital education for orphans in Japan, Pepper was once used as a fun project at one of the orphanages. It was amazing how freely the kids interacted and expressed themselves and tried to learn different things. We wanted to use the same principle and apply it on a global scale where robotics and AI could be a learning and emotional partner to human beings. It is important to note that Pepper is the only robot that has its own pseudo-emotion and is capable of assuming emotions of others. This makes Pepper one of the best platforms to create the prototype for a potential learning and emotional partner.

What it does

You can have the pepper as the robot or as an application running over mobile or other robotic systems and you can talk to it and teach it different things. The charm is in the fact that you are responsible for teaching it (kind of based on the Tamagochi concept) and it automatically becomes your everyday partner learning what you learn and teach it as well. Also, it develops emotionally along with you and suggests stuff based on your needs and interests. It also provides emotional comfort and promotes interacting with other shells.

How we built it

We first created an Android app with the Watson dialogue api integrated, and connected the chat output dialogue with Pepper using a local server via Python. By using Python, we are able to scale the connection, basically proving the concept.

Challenges we ran into

Communication with pepper is still a very difficult task and we were able to hack the SDK to make it more easily communicable for developers. Training data models to cover various aspects of human behavior was a challenging task which we realized is quite not possible in just 2 days.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were able to take the physical barrier of being with pepper away so that you can interact with it on the go.

What we learned

While showing the demo to different people, we realized that people really love to communicate with an entity which does not judge or hold back and interacts freely with you based on what you provide.

What's next for Pepper In The Shell

Pepper In The Shell (PITS) focuses on the communicative software aspect of Pepper making the initial monetary cost for installment close to nothing for the users. With the growth of IoT, Pepper can be part of everyday life with PITS collecting data for interaction.

Share this project: