Swiss Nestlé will employ 1,000 robots to sell its Nescafé coffee machines in Japan. The first batch of 20 robots will start working this year and by the end of next year, all 1,000 will be fully operational.
Pepper, a French-developed robot, can interpret and express human emotions and comes at a price of 1,500 euro per robot. Nestlé won't be the first company to use them: Japanese tech company SoftBank already has smartphone-selling robots in some 70 stores.
At Nestlé, the robots will have to sell the Ambassador coffee machines, which are only destined for the Japanese market and free for companies. Nestlé does not make any money on the machines itself, but intends to make a profit on the coffee capsules people put inside the machine. Currently, Nestlé has sold some 125,000 Ambassador coffee machines, but it hopes to quadruple that by 2020.