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Digitimes Research: Softbank to penetrate into robot market
Hana Hu, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

Japan-based Softbank will continue to foray into the robot market in Japan after launching the household robot 'Pepper' and business robot 'Asra C1', according to Digitimes Research.

The Pepper is available at less than JPY200,000 (US$1,653), indicating that Softbank is testing the market with a low pricing strategy and will count more on the Asra C1 to stabilize its robot business.

The software specifications and developer tools for the Pepper are open to the public, and Softbank also operates an app store to attract more third-party developers to joint the ecosystem. The Pepper, which is tall and has an LCD display on the front of its chest, is also popular in the business market.

The Asra C1 is developed by Softbank's subsidiary, Asratec, and is powered by the V-Sido OS developed in-house. V-Sido OS can control and balance operation of the articulations of the Asra C1 in real time and serves as one of Softbank's core technologies for accelerating its deployment in the robot market, said Digitimes Research.

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