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Emotional Japanese robot 'Pepper' is gone in 60 seconds

Japanese consumers seem to have found a huge need for emotion-detecting robots, as the first batch of such technology developed by Softbank has been sold in the first 60 seconds it went on sale.

The robot, called Pepper, comes "with a heart" and is said to be capable of recognising feelings such as anger, joy and sadness and give responses accordingly. It can also dance to music, bow in respect and move its arms in an interpretation of human movement.

The humanoid machine, which is four feet high, costs 198,000 yen (around £1,000) plus monthly service and insurance fees.

Owning Softbank's robot for over three years will sum up to an estimated cost of 1.2m yen (£6,000), including other fees.

The creation of the robot was aimed to help address Japan's rapidly ageing population, which currently has a high median age of 46 and a record-low birth rate.

"Our vision is to offer a robot with love," Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son said.

Softbank plans to release Pepper in other countries later this year and will put 1,000 units a month on sale.

The Japanese developer has also said that it will not make a profit on Pepper for years