London UTC gets classroom robot

Pepper the humanoid robot to be used in UK classrooms for the first time

The London Design and Engineering University Technical College is set to be the first school in the UK to introduce ‘Pepper’ the humanoid robot into the classroom.

The school, which opens its doors in September, will allow new pupils in years 10-12 to learn about and interact with cutting-edge robotics and find out what makes Pepper so innovative. 

Students will work on application and computing programming projects with Pepper, plus 12 Nao robots, with the goal of finding ways for robots to contribute to ‘smart homes’ and assisted living for those with reduced mobility. They also want to find ways to get robots to make manufacturing processes simpler and more efficient.

Pepper was launched in 2014 by Softbank Robotics. The 4ft tall robot can recognise the human voice in 20 languages, and knows whether it’s talking to a man, woman, or child.

Pepper hit headlines around the world in April this year when it was brought into the classroom at Shoshi High School, Japan, to help with language lessons. 

Pepper made headlines again this month when two hospitals in Belgium announced they were to recruit Pepper as a receptionist and assist visitors to the correct ward or department. 

The robot comes equipped with four microphones, two HD cameras, and a 3D depth sensor behind the eyes. There is a gyroscope in the torso and touch sensors in the head and hands. The mobile base has two sonars, six lasers, three bumper sensors, and a gyroscope. 


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