SoftBank will launch its humanoid robot Pepper in Taiwan later this year and the company will provide about 100 units for leasing.
According to a representative from SoftBank, those robots will be put into use at some banks and Carrefour supermarkets.
With this move, Taiwan will become the first market outside Japan to have Pepper. However, Pepper will not be open for sales and it does not target ordinary Taiwanese consumers.
As the manufacturer of Pepper, Foxconn is headquartered in Taiwan. Lv Fangming, executive director of Foxconn, said that SoftBank plans to have monthly leasing of 60 Peppers in the first half of 2017. Lv also revealed that banking units of Taiwan First Financial Holding and Taishin Holdings, life insurance unit of Cathay Financial Holdings, and Taiwanese telecom carrier Asia Pacific Telecom are expected to use Pepper to meet basic demands of customers.
Marilyn Su, an executive from Carrefour, said that they also plan to use Pepper at two stores in Taiwan. She said that the first task for this robot is to know customers and interact with them, especially children.
Foxconn's Perobot unit will be responsible for the sales and maintenance of Pepper in Taiwan. The monthly rental of Pepper will be NTD26,888, which is about USD836.67, with a 2-year leasing contract.