While this could significantly increase the robot s software lineup and help with sales, it also cedes a measure of control to Google, which owns the operating system and will now have the power to approve apps and take a cut of the revenues.Billionaire Son, who has long professed his admiration for the late Steve Jobs, took a page from Apple Inc. s playbook by positioning the $1,800 robot as an application platform.
The Tokyo-based company said Android will help Pepper broaden its reach and eventually help generate revenue.
But it s not designed for menial tasks.The SoftBank founder has bet the robot s friendly physical appearance would spur adoption and attract app developers.
That runs counter to the trend of disembodied assistants that reside in a user s smartphone, like Apple s Siri and Google Now.
Amazon.com Inc. s Echo voice-activated home assistant is a cylinder about the size of a coffee tumbler.
There was a lot of internal discussion on this topic and we decided on a challenge of creating a humanoid robot, Fumihide Tomizawa, chief executive officer of SoftBank Robotics, said at the briefing.