Market Overview

Affectiva and SoftBank Robotics Partner to Bolster Emotional Intelligence in Humanoid Robots


Affectiva's Emotion AI to be deployed in SoftBank's humanoid robot,
Pepper, to make interactions with social robots highly relational,

the global leader in Artificial Emotional Intelligence (Emotion AI), and SoftBank
, the global leader in humanoid robotics, today announced
their partnership to enable robots to have more relational and
human-like interactions with people. Affectiva's Emotion AI will be
integrated into SoftBank's humanoid robot, Pepper,
to allow Pepper to adapt its behavior based on a deep understanding of
people's complex emotional and cognitive states as they interact.

SoftBank's Pepper robot is the first humanoid robot capable of
recognizing human emotions, and adapting its behavior accordingly.
Pepper was created specifically for the purpose of interacting with
people in a highly relational way, equipped with multiple cameras,
microphones and loudspeakers that help identify emotions based on facial
and vocal cues. With its unique ability to perceive and interpret
emotions, Pepper has been widely adopted as a companion robot, and is
also increasingly deployed by businesses as a new way to interact with
customers in retail stores, hotels, banks and other settings that
require a concierge.

The integration of Affectiva's Emotion AI in Pepper will expand Pepper's
emotion detection capabilities, allowing the robot to understand not
only emotions, but complex cognitive states. Affectiva's Emotion AI runs
on-device in real-time, and can detect highly nuanced states based on
people's facial and vocal expressions. Beyond identifying fundamental
human emotions such as joy, anger and surprise, Affectiva's technology
can detect more complex cognitive states and expressions such as
distraction, drowsiness, or differentiating between a smile and a smirk.
Understanding these complex states will enable Pepper to have more
meaningful interactions with people, and adapt its behavior to better
reflect the way people interact with one another.

"There's a significant opportunity for robots like Pepper to improve the
way we work and live, as we've seen through the many roles Pepper has
already taken on as a companion and a concierge," said Marine Chamoux,
Affective Computing Roboticist, SoftBank Robotics. "But this is only the
beginning – especially as Pepper continues to evolve and learns to
relate to people in increasingly meaningful ways. Our partnership with
Affectiva will help us to take Pepper's abilities to the next level,
allowing Pepper to better respond to the many emotional and cognitive
states people experience. Moreover, the partnership really signifies the
next generation of human-machine interaction, as we approach a point
where our interactions with devices and robots like Pepper more closely
mirrors how people interact with one another."

"As robots take on increasingly interactive roles with humans in many
corners of society – spanning healthcare, retail, and even entering our
homes – there's a critical need for us to foster a deeper understanding
and mutual trust between people and robots," said Dr. Rana el Kaliouby,
Co-founder and CEO of Affectiva. "Just as people interact with one
another based on social and emotional cues, robots need to have that
same social awareness in order to truly be effective as coworkers or
companions. We're thrilled to be partnering with SoftBank Robotics to
make that a reality, and to give social robots the tools they need to
reach their full potential."

Affectiva and SoftBank will be discussing their partnership and vision
for the future of social robotics at Affectiva's Emotion
AI Summit
on September 6th at the State Room in Boston, MA.


  • If you're interested in attending the Summit, please register
    . If you are a member of the media, please contact
  • Please visit Affectiva's blog
    for learnings and insights from the event, including future updates on
    its partnership with SoftBank Robotics.

About Affectiva

Affectiva, an MIT Media Lab spin-off, is the leading provider of AI
software that detects complex and nuanced human emotions and cognitive
states from face and voice. Its patented Emotion AI technology uses
machine learning, deep learning, computer vision and speech science.
Affectiva has built the world's largest emotion data repository with
over 7 million faces analyzed in 87 countries. Used by 25% of the
Fortune Global 500 companies to test consumer engagement with ads,
videos and TV programming, Affectiva is now working with leading OEMs,
Tier 1s and technology providers on next generation multi-modal driver
state monitoring and in-cabin mood sensing.

For more information, visit

About SoftBank Robotics

SoftBank Robotics is driving technology forward by becoming a worldwide
leader in robotics. SoftBank Robotics regroups more than 500 employees
working in Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco, Boston and Shanghai. Robots
under the SoftBank Robotics brand, Pepper and NAO, are used in more than
70 countries worldwide and offer innovative applications relevant for
the fields of research, education, retail, healthcare, tourism,
hospitality, enterprise, finance and government.

For more information, visit

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