Softbank prices its Pepper robot out of some developers' pockets

Softbank's adorable robot may be short and cute, but it'll still cost the price of a secondhand car to bring one into your home. The Japanese network has revealed that the first Pepper devices on the market will cost just over nine grand to buy. Similar to Google's Glass Explorer project, Softbank will sell the first proper production run of 300 units to developers in the hope that they'll build apps for the automaton.

Rather than just a one-off payment, prospective users will be asked for $1,660 up front, followed by $206 a month for the following three years. That monthly charge includes access to Softbank's cloud-based artificial intelligence which is accessed via its mobile network. The fee also covers insurance, so if the worst should happen and Pepper falls down the stairs, you won't be left crying over a broken robot. The network has also admitted that it's selling the devices at an overall loss, but hopes that Pepper will one day graduate from selling coffee to something with a better paycheck.