Nestle Japan hiring 1,000 robots to sell espresso machines


Food giant Nestle said Wednesday that its Japan unit plans to hire 1,000 robots as sales clerks at stores across the country.

The first batch of the robots — a chatty humanoid called Pepper — will report to work by the end of this year at outlets that sell coffee capsules and home espresso machines.

“From December, they will start selling coffee machines for us at big retail stores,” said Nestle Japan spokeswoman Miki Kano.

“We are sure that our customers will enjoy shopping and being entertained by robots.”

Pepper — which has already been at work, chatting with customers at wireless giant SoftBank’s outlets — has proved an effective marketing tool for the Japanese mobile carrier, delighting managers who put it to work collecting customer opinions.

The 120-cm-tall robot, which moves on rollers and has what looks like a tablet computer strapped to its chest, was unveiled in June by SoftBank president Masayoshi Son.

He billed it as an “emotional” robot that understands “70 to 80 percent of spontaneous conversations.”

Pepper is set to go on the market from February for about $2,000 apiece.

  • swagv

    They need to hire robots to drink the stuff. The stale, pre-ground, oxidizing-for-weeks dreck that comes out of their capsules is not fit for human consumption.

    • Mike

      We are referring to Nespresso machines right? Cause I don’t want any robot claws on my Dolce Gusto goodness.

  • Mike

    It is safe to say that there are too many people employed in Japan when companies “hire” robots. The comedic ironies are abundant in this story.

  • Lukas Meza

    very cool. japan is really the land of robots