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World’s first home robot shop opens in Paris

Those flying cars may be taking a long time to come into our lives, but we can now jump on the Eurostar and buy robots for the home.

The Aldebaran store near Paris has opened to encourage the public to learn more about robots, and interact with a couple of humanoid robots called NAO and Pepper. 

Based in the fashionable Issy les Moulineaux shopping area, the store (or ‘atelier’ in French) is divided into three parts: a discovery area, a learning space and a developer space.

Pepper is Aldebaran's social robot, designed to interact with humans as a companion
Pepper is Aldebaran’s social robot, designed to interact with humans as a companion

“We believe in a future where sensitive and communicating robots will assist humans in their work, their home, their leisure activities, and their family life, said Bruno Maisonnier, founder and CEO of Aldebaran.

“Currently, our robots are exclusively found on the professional market. Our objective is for them to become accessible to the general public and our intention is to create a place where humans and robots can meet.”

“The Atelier, with its developer space is also about generating new applications development ideas for our robots as well as paving the way to new business models.”

Described as ‘the first humanoid robot designed to live with humans’, Pepper is can already be seen in Softbank mobile phone shops in Japan.

NAO is a 58cm-tall robot which has been in development since 2006, which talks and plays with humans and is expected to go on sale in future.

The Discovery Area is where the general public can meet Pepper and NAO and also learn about communicating with robots as well as having pictures taken with them.

The Learning Space is dedicated to tools to programme robots, looking at the main areas of activity of the robots being developed as well as those to come. There will also be programming tools and libraries for novices and experts alike. An e-store will also take a look at apps for robots.

The Developer Space is dedicated to robot developers and comes equipped with robots and computers, allowing developers to create projects together, exchange and share their experiences. Aldebaran will also have experts on hand to help in developing and optimising robot applications.

The shop will be open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 7pm. From September, the store will offer a programme of special events with meetings, conferences and workshops for everyone from novices to experts.

Aldebaran also plans to open two more stores in Tokyo in cooperation with Japanese mobile phone giant Softbank.

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