Softbank Robotics Europe
SoftBank Robotics is based in Paris and was created in July 2005. In April 2015, the company has over 460 full time employees, out of which 380 based in Paris and 50% dedicate themselves to R&D. SoftBank conceives, develops, manufactures, and commercializes humanoid robots and corresponding control software. SoftBank is the world leader of autonomous humanoid robotics and has delivered more than 7000 NAO robots in more than 70 countries. NAO, a 60cm tall, 2-legged and 25-DOF is the company’s first generation robot which was the only European humanoid robot available on the market for many years. A new Robot, Pepper was launched in June 2014 and developed for B2B needs as well as targeting B2C requirements. Pepper is 1.20m tall, wheeled humanoid robot, with 17 joints for graceful movements, 3 omni-directional wheels to move around smoothly, more than 12 hours of energy for non-stop activities, and ability to go back to the recharging station if required. It has 3D camera to sense and recognize human and their movement at a distance of up to 3 meters. Finally, Romeo is a research robot created from the collaboration of research laboratories and companies like SoftBank. This 140-cm humanoid robot is intended to deepen research on assistance for the elderly and those who have lost autonomy. The company has 62 patent families in the fields of mechatronics, software architecture and robot control, and has the following technical expertise: mechanical and kinematics design, motor control, electronics and sensors, bus and low level communication protocols, embedded software development, signal processing, image analysis, bi-pedal walking, and motion planning.
SoftBank is already active in different market segments: Academics and Research, education, entertainment and display, and is actively exploring new ones, such as personal assistance and specialized education. SoftBank’s R&D engineers bring their expertise in mechanics, electronics, and middleware, signal processing, control and robotic application development. SoftBank, as an industry, has unique knowledge on developing humanoid robots and human-robot interaction. In addition, its expertise of being able to consider human-robot interaction requirements and guidelines since the very beginning of the robot’s development cycle, results into a widely accepted and highly appreciated human-friendly robot.