Pepper, the humanoid robot that its makers say can recognise and respond to human emotions, goes on sale in Japan this weekend.SoftBank, the company behind the robot, is planning to release 1,000 robots every month.
Pepper will sell for 198,000 yen (£1,000), and businesses will be able to rent it for 1,500 yen an hour.
Robotic expert Prof Noel Sharkey said SoftBank's business strategy was "risky".
Although the upfront price is relatively cheap for a sophisticated robot - SoftBank is actually selling it at below manufacturing costs - customers will also have to pay monthly service fees of up to 24,000 yen and sign up to a three-year contract.
"SoftBank is hoping to make money from apps, but it is risky as it is not clear whether anyone will develop any for it," said Prof Sharkey, from the University of Sheffield.
There will be 100 apps available for download at launch.
The robots will be manufactured by FoxConn. Chinese online retailer Alibaba is also partnering. Both are investing $118m in SoftBank's robotic division and will take 20% shares in the company.
No date has yet been set for when Pepper will go on sale outside of Japan, but Softbank chief executive Masayoshi Son said it would probably happen next year.
Pepper can remember faces and is programmed to recognise human emotions.
Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-33183360
Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp.www.reaganwireless.com