The Pepper humanoid robot of SoftBank (TYO:9984) has started working officially in Taiwan. The robot greeted customers at the bank including a life insurer on Thursday. It will provide basic consultation services from now on. Taiwan is among the first countries after Japan where a robot will be greeting customers and working with them.
Pepper will work at a branch of the First Commercial Bank in the capital city Taipei. Pepper also participated in an exercise routine with the staff and was later introduced to the public at the bank. It will also be seen working at Asia-Pacific Telecom and Cathay Life Insurance. In fact, an employee ID card has also been issued to Pepper.
On Thursday, Pepper was seen doing practical work at Taichung City.
The Robot Will Work All Over Taiwan
First Commercial Bank, which is a unit of First Financial Holding Co., has plans of deploying 20 Peppers throughout the island in the first phase. They will work in the bank’s larger branches in the capital city, and also in southern and central Taiwan, but soon, Pepper will be seen working throughout the country in all the branches. The monthly rental fee will be NT$2,200.
Cathay Life Insurance also wants to commission 10 robots at this time. They will be interacting with customers mainly. But Pepper is also likely to come to the aid of staff members by taking a lot of burden off them, giving them free time to do more important banking work.
Cathay Life has revealed that it is the only life insurer in Taiwan where the robot will be seen working. Pepper, for now, will work in their Taiwan head office and also at the East Nanjing Road Service Center. The 10 robots will be located at their five largest service centers at Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Kaohsiung, and Tainan.
The Working Time of Pepper
At the First Commercial Bank, Pepper’s working time will be between 8.30 in the morning till 5.30 and it is likely to serve about a hundred customers daily. Pepper will welcome the customers, provide product introduction and offer customized services.
In Japan, the robot is working as a salesman, customer service representative, and waiter in 500 companies already, including Nissan, Mizuho Bank, Nestle, and others. It costs ¥198,000 or $1,900.
Pepper is the vision of Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank (TYO:9984). He is keen about future technologies including sensors that exchange and collect data, vehicles and smart gadgets.