Can a robot be taught about my business / organisation?

Yes, you can build up a knowledge base about your business organisation in a robot, and then allow people to access that knowledge by talking to the robot, saving staff time answering routine enquiries.

This information needs to be structured based on the type of questions you expect people will ask to access that knowledge, and will normally be organised within a drilldown category structure.

How do I reboot a robot?

To reboot a Pepper or NAO robot, press and hold the button on its chest until it goes into standby. Pressing again will restart it.

How do I wake a robot in the morning?

This depends on the model. Most have a boot sequence which may take a couple of minutes.

With Pepper or Nao, touching the button on its chest should wake it from sleep mode. It will normally sleep with its head bowed.

How fast is the technology developing?

The technology is continuing to develop and improve but as with any technology, the best time to buy is when it will offer you a satisfactory return on investment.

For many business applications that time has arrived with the current generation of highly capable robots, offering good voice recognition and long intervals between recharges, such as Pepper.

How often does a robot need charging?

How often a robot needs charging will depend on the model of robot, its battery capacity, and the rate it uses up charge. That will depend on what activities it is carrying out. Generally walking activities use charge faster than when the robot remains stationary.

Pepper will typically run on a single charge for 10-12 hours and can then be conveniently recharged overnight. Other robots may need recharging every 1-8 hours depending on how they are being used. 

How reliable are the robots?

Modern robots for business applications are extremely reliable. Softbank Robotics makes some of the most durable and reliable robots. A repair service is available, and their robots come with a 1 year limited warranty.

How vulnerable is a robot to damage?

Modern robots are fairly resilient, but do need to be used within certain parameters to ensure normal operation.

Robots can now typically handle being knocked over, or being obstructed so that they cannot get to their desired destination.

However use outside of recommended guidelines, such as heat, cold or humidity levels may stop them from functioning normally, or cause damage.

They should be put in sleep mode when not in use, and will typically have recommended settings for transportation to prevent damage.

What are the ongoing costs?

Typically you should budget for around 10-15% of the value of a robot solution per annum.

This will depend on the solution, and on the balance of hardware and software in that solution.

What is the cost of a robot on its own?

This depends but is typically from £5,000. More capable models such as Pepper are more expensive.

Many price points exist,so the price depends on the capabilities you require.

What will the cost be?

This depends. Typically the cost will be in five figures for a robot solution. The exact cost will vary depending on the application and its complexity, and on which robot is most appropriate.

Will a robot say things I don’t want it to?

Your robot will only say things that you and the developers have programmed it to say.

It will not pick up slang or use inappropriate words it may have heard in the course of its duties.