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SoftBank robot to help companies boost sales

'Pepper' to transcend its role as novelty item

Pepper, a humanoid robot, is expected to have a wider variety of functions to serve corporate customers.

TOKYO -- More than a year after releasing its humanoid robot, named Pepper, to corporate customers, a unit of SoftBank Group is trying to enhance the robot's ability to help companies boost sales.

"The days when robots could prompt customers to go to stores are over," SoftBank Robotics President Fumihide Tomizawa said at a press conference in Tokyo on Feb. 7. Rather than just being a novelty item, "We want to show how much Pepper can help boost sales and reduce costs," Tomizawa said.

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