SoftBank takes the ALS ice-bucket challenge in supremely Japanese fashion

SoftBank takes the ALS ice-bucket challenge in supremely Japanese fashion
Okay, we know, this ice bucket stuff has lived way past its prime. Just when you think things are going to settle down however, someone adds just a little something new to the mix and it turns out to be worth sharing anyway.

In June, Japan’s SoftBank introduced Pepper, a robot which has begun to play a role interacting with customers at SoftBank retail locations. The robot will also be available for sale to the general public sometime next year for about $2,000.

When you live and work in Japan, and work on cutting edge technology like robots, what might you do to one-up the rest of the world in terms of things like the ice bucket challenge? Well, how about getting the robots to do the wet work for you?

That is not to say SoftBank engineers were going to let Pepper be doused in a bucket of ice water. The robot is probably okay dealing with basic elements like a drizzle of rain, but certainly not a several liters of water all at once. These robots represent many millions of dollars of research, so we are certain that Masayoshi Son would not be willing to part with any bit of that investment in such a fashion.

The team at SoftBank programmed a team of Pepper robots to do the leg work and show off SoftBank’s support in the ALS ice bucket challenge.

We know the luster is gone, but we suspect this will not be the last of what has turned out to be a very successful fundraising campaign.  If you would like to forgo the whole ice water thing, we thought we would actually include a link to the ALS Association since that is the one critical element that seems to be missing from all these videos.



reference: ALS Association

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5 Comments

1. omar300

Posts: 210; Member since: Jun 24, 2012

same as pink ribbon to support breast cancer, ALS ice bucket is already being used for commercial branding. brands are already banking on idea, the idea of actual cause is already lost somewhere thanks to such stupidity.

2. hurrycanger

Posts: 1754; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

You're right for the first part. But "the idea of actual cause is already lost somewhere thanks to such stupidity"? No. It's still there.

4. engineer-1701d unregistered

so this is were softbank waste's the money they should have spent on our network updates.

3. Joshua9007

Posts: 94; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

I agree that it has been used as a trendy way for famous people to self-promote themselves while riding on the popularity of this charity. I know that everyone of any stature says the right thing by reminding everyone to donate, and that it is all helping a great cause... but all I hear is "LOOK AT ME!!! I'M HELPING PEOPLE!!!" I recently saw an add on TV where Macy's is having a sale where people pay $5 to purchase a savings pass worth 25% off, where all of every $5 goes toward the march of dimes. Now I like the concept, it helps a great cause, but compared to other sales its really not that impressive, and I believe they are trying to capitalize on the recent social media push with ALS. They figure that if people are willing to donate for nothing (actually getting cold and wet), then why not donate to save while shopping! Macy's probably would have had a sale if not for a cause, so it was all capitalizing on customer sentiment.

5. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

I need to buy that robot. Time to start saving up! :)

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