Softbank's Pepper robot enrolls in Japanese high school

Softbank's Pepper robot is leaving its customer service lifestyle and heading to school, enrolling in Japan's Hisashi High School in the Fukushima Prefecture. This is the first time the humanoid robot is going to school, and it will, hopefully, positively impact students, inspiring them to hit the books. Pepper speaks both English and Japanese, and will be spending most of its time in English classes, showing off some of its skills and non-retail uses in the process.

According to Russian news agency TASS, Pepper said, "I never thought that I would be accepted into a human school." Pepper will have free roam to attend various activities and classes, expanding beyond the English classrooms where he'll spend most of his time. Whether Softbank has any larger plans for this aside from inspiring students isn't clear.

SoftBank is human-ish in shape, and is equipped with various sensors and cameras that allow it to interact with its environment and, mostly importantly, people. The robot was designed to primarily function in customer service positions, helping customers find items within stores, giving assistance and offering assistance when applicable. The robot has been tested in various stores and shopping situations, and has been teased as having a future within homes, as well.

SoftBank isn't the only company creating humanoid robots, though; Hitachi recently unveiled the third generation of EMIEW robot, the EMIEW3. The robot is similar in shape to Pepper, operating with onboard hardware and a remote brain platform. This robot also functions in customer service positions, and, this time around, can upright itself when knocked over.