Named Pepper by its developer Softbank, a Tokyo-based internet company, the humanoid robot struck conversations with shoppers and collected the opinions of customers.

The robot was billed as ‘emotional’ by Soft Bank president Masayoshi Son, who said it understands 70 to 80 percent of spontaneous conversations.

The four-foot tall robot which moves on rollers is equipped with facial-recognition technology and a number of cameras, audio recorders and sensors.

That technology allows the robot to learn how to behave over time, instead of being programmed for specific tasks.

"Our aim is to develop affectionate robots that can make people smile," Son was quoted as saying. The humanoid, which is set to go on sale in Japan in February 2015, will cost about $1,900 (Rs.112,147).


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