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SoftBank Robotics Ends Pepper Production

SoftBank Robotics made a significant announcement last year, revealing the discontinuation of production for its iconic Pepper humanoid robot. This decision marks the end of an era for Pepper, as SoftBank has no plans to resume production due to the project's high costs.

Despite its initial promise, Pepper struggled to gain significant traction in the global market, with only 27,000 units produced since its introduction in 2014. Despite numerous efforts to enhance its appeal and functionality, Pepper failed to achieve the widespread adoption SoftBank had hoped for.

As a result of this strategic shift, SoftBank Robotics is also undergoing significant organizational changes. Half of its workforce in the United States and the United Kingdom has already been laid off, with plans to reduce the remaining 330 employees in France over the coming months.

SoftBank's focus has now shifted to its newer venture, the Whiz robot, introduced in 2019. Unlike Pepper, Whiz is a robot cleaner designed to sweep and vacuum floors efficiently. This shift reflects SoftBank's commitment to exploring new opportunities in robotics and automation while acknowledging the challenges faced by its previous endeavors.

However, SoftBank remains deeply invested in the field of robotics and automation, maintaining access to cutting-edge technology through its ownership of SB Logistics and strategic stakes in robotics firms such as Berkshire Gray and warehouse robotics company AutoStore. These investments position SoftBank to continue driving innovation in the evolving landscape of robotics and automation.

While the end of Pepper production may mark the conclusion of one chapter, SoftBank Robotics remains firmly committed to shaping the future of robotics with its ongoing endeavors and strategic investments.

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