With a lot of reports in the media over the last few months, Softbank Robotics Europe have a special message to clarify their commitment to the future of Pepper and Nao robots. We share an extract from a personal letter from Nicolas Boudot, VP Sales & Marketing.
Dear NAO and Pepper users,
In our continuous will to keep you informed about the progress of SoftBank Robotics Europe restructuring, we would like to provide you with the latest information.
As some press articles are clearly creating confusion for you, we would like to share with you facts that allow you to clearly and honestly understand the situation and the future of our robots.
SoftBank Robotics Europe will be reducing its Paris’ workforce but we want to confirm that all the actions have been taken to ensure the continuity of our business with Pepper and NAO robots.
We are implementing a new distribution strategy with Regional Master Distributors that ensure a business continuity for our partners and customers:
- Appointment of Master Distributor in the USA/Canada is done.
- Discussions are close to being finalized for the Europe & Gulf Region zone.
Not only are we not stopping, and have no intention to stop, Pepper and NAO sales but we are fully committed to ensure the continuity of service for customer care, repair and cloud services. As an example we have signed a deal for the coming years for Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) for Pepper & NAO. All our existing and upcoming contracts with partners and customers will of course be honoured.
The market demand for our humanoid robot (number of contacts) is still stronger than in 2020 despite the press articles. Factory line production for Pepper was indeed adjusted regarding our forecasts. We currently have enough Pepper 1.8 inventory to fulfil the next 18 months with the current sales demand. Will we restart producing more Pepper 1.8 units? This will be decided in about 12 to 18 months, based on the inventory level and our product roadmap.
After years of heavy investments in developing Pepper and NAO, our NAOqi OS is now mature enough to allow our focus to move on developing service robots which we believe will expand our product portfolio and benefit our humanoid product line.
We would like to restate that one of the main goals of our restructuring is to ensure that we move to an efficient organisation to serve our partners and customers.
Nicolas Boudot, VP Sales & Marketing, SoftBank Robotics Europe
As their representative in the region, we at Jacky’s stand behind their commitment and our customers. Please reach out to Jacky’s Business Solutions team on email@example.com if you need to any clarification around this statement or would like to set up a demo around Pepper or Nao robots.