With big, round, smiling eyes and a shirt and bow tie displayed on the screen on his chest, humanoid robot Pepper is ready to entertain his guests. Music begins to play, and Pepper shows off his moves to the 1960s hit song "The Loco-Motion" as a crowd of onlookers laughs with pleasure.

Pepper was created not for labor but to make people laugh — and with Yoshimoto Kogyo, Japan's biggest entertainment empire, working behind the scenes, that is a sure thing.

Touted as the world's first proper affordable consumer robot, Pepper was jointly developed by Japan's SoftBank Corp. and French robot maker Aldebaran Robotics, and is able to communicate with people and read their emotions. News of Pepper's unveiling on June 5 spread quickly across Japan and the world.