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Nestle hires robots


NestleFood giant, Nestle, is planning to hire 1000 humanoid robots as sales clerks to help sell its coffee makers at electronics stores across Japan.

The first batch of the chatty humanoid called Pepper will report to work by the end of the year at outlets that sell coffee capsules and home espresso machines.

“From December, they will start selling coffee machines for us at big retail stores,” Nestle Japan spokeswoman, Miki Kano, said on Wednesday.

“We are sure that our customers will enjoy shopping and being entertained by robots.”

Pepper, which has already been at work, chatting with customers at wireless giant SoftBank’s outlets, has proved an effective marketing tool for the Japanese mobile carrier, delighting managers who put it to work collecting customer opinions.

The 120 centimetre tall robot, which moves on rollers and has what looks like a tablet computer strapped to its chest, was unveiled in June by SoftBank president, Masayoshi Son.

He billed it as an emotional robot that understands 70 to 80 per cent of spontaneous conversations.

Pepper is set to go on the market from February for about $US2000 ($A2165) apiece.


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