Online Shop Sells Custom Clothes for Pepper the Robot

By Bryan Lufkin on at

Pepper, the popular humanoid robot that reads your emotions, is being subjected to wearing silly outfits and hairstyles, like some sort of unsettling, automated, joke-telling Barbie.

The robot, sold by Japanese telecom giant SoftBank and designed by French robotics firm Aldebaran, went on sale in Japan earlier this summer, and keeps selling out within sixty seconds each time a new batch is released. Well, now, creative fans of Pepper are starting to come up with wigs, garb, and facial decals to personalise your Pepper with kimonos, Santa hats, and more.

Reports tell the story of a 59-year-old man in Japan, and his presumably wilful business partner, who have launched a website that specialises in Pepper-friendly clothing, which needs to be specially made so it to doesn’t cover up or disrupt any of the robot’s many sensors or gets caught in its joints.

Unlike faceless factory robots, Pepper is pretty typical of many Japanese ‘bots that are made to live alongside humans and interact with them. There’s already been hiccups, though: Pepper’s been deemed too polite for brash westerners, so its attitude will apparently be getting a sarcastic twist for Americans. And earlier this summer, in its native Japan, a drunk guy was arrested for assaulting a Pepper in a SoftBank phone store. Maybe some decent thread will help its transition into society?

Watch a video of more Peppers getting dressed up with accessories and clothes from the Etsy-like site for robots here. [Wall Street Journal]

Top image via Wall Street Journal

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