SoftBank Corp. unveiled on Thursday what it says is the world's first humanoid robot that can communicate and read people's emotions, and said it will go on sale to the general public next year.

CEO Masayoshi Son told a news conference in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, that "100 years, 200 years or 300 years from now, people will probably recall today as a historic day in which computers changed."

SoftBank teamed up with French robot maker Aldebaran Robotics SAS to make the humanoid robot, called the Pepper. The robot is equipped with an "emotion engine" that can recognize emotions by reading facial expressions, body language and tone of voice.