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Sustainability

Pepper Programs

In Japan, the SoftBank Group offers programs that uses the humanoid robot, Pepper, to contribute to education and society. The SoftBank Group is also providing similar educational programs in the U.S. and China.

Pepper Programs in Japan

Support for computer programming that will be mandatory in Japan’s schools

Pepper Programs in Japan

The SoftBank Group launched the Pepper Social Contribution Program in April 2017, with the aim of supporting education and society.

Programming will be mandatory at Japanese elementary schools in 2020. The SoftBank Group lends Pepper to support educational activities related to this initiative, helping school kids and students develop their abilities including logical-thinking, problem-solving and imagination. Furthermore, the SoftBank Group lends Pepper to NPOs and other organizations, aiming to help solve social challenges through the use of the robots.

Creation of Teaching Tools that Uses Pepper

To encourage the use of Pepper in areas beyond programming education, the SoftBank Group has begun offering the Robo Blocks School Template, which enables teachers to use the Robo Blocks* and formulate lesson plans easily. The teaching tool provides templates that allows interactions among teachers and children through Pepper robots in a class. By combining several templates, teachers can easily develop entire class programs that use Pepper.

  • Note: The Robo Blocks is arobot programming tool for the Pepper Social Contribution Program developed by SoftBank Group Corp. and SoftBank Robotics Corp. on the basis of the Scratch visual programming language.

Pepper Programs in the U.S.

Pepper Programs in the U.S.

Since November 2018, the SoftBank Group has been offering educational programs that use Pepper through schools and educational institutions North America.

The SoftBank Group has donated Pepper to the San Francisco Unified School District in California, Boston Public Schools in Massachusetts, and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. The Pepper are being used at events for promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and at technology-related workshops. Furthermore, the robots are being used for school public relations and other activities. For example, they are serving as receptionists and ambassadors in some schools.

The SoftBank Group plans to donate more Peppers to more places by September 2021, and the total number of donated robots is expected to exceed 100.

Pepper Programs in China

Pepper Programs in China

Since May 2019, the SoftBank Group has been promoting efforts to support talent development in the area of science and technology through the use of Pepper in Zhejiang Province, China. The SoftBank Group will provide 2,000 Peppers free of charge to the Zhejiang Sunshine Education Foundation. Educational institutions in Zhejiang Province will receive Pepper through the foundation.

Pepper will be provided to 269 educational institutions in Zhejiang Province, including elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, and universities, and they will be used for advanced science and technology education, including programming and robotics. The SoftBank Group will also provide the Chinese language version of the Robo Blocks, programming reference books for teachers and more.