Who is SoftBank Robotics?

SoftBank Robotics designs and manufactures interactive and friendly humanoid robots.

We believe in a future where human-shaped robots will help humans in their day-to-day lives.

Our aim since the beginning of the adventure has been to make robots accessible to all so that they become daily companions.

In less than 10 years, we have become a leader on the humanoid robotics market and we now offer robots that assist professionals in sectors such as education, research, healthcare, retail and tourism.

We designed our first robot – NAO – in 2006. An iconic part of this pioneering adventure, nearly 13 000 NAO robots are currently used throughout the world, and have met great success especially in research and education.

In 2009, we launched the ROMEO Project in collaboration with research laboratories and institutions, with the aim of furthering research on assisting people with reduced autonomy.

SoftBank – one of the biggest and most innovative companies in Japan – selected Aldebaran to design and create the first emotional robot: Pepper. 

Pepper was launched in 2014 and Aldebaran was renamed SoftBank Robotics in 2016, as now part of SoftBank Group.

SoftBank Robotics (SoftBank Group) now represents more than 500 employees, located in France, Japan, the United States and China.

In 2018, we launched the 6th version of NAO: NAO⁶.


Our robots are unique

Created to like people and live with them on a daily basis, our robots are cute, interactive and upgradable.

We create interactive, fun robots, with the aim of improving our day-to-day life and enriching it with a totally new experience.

NAO was the first robot of the adventure, a true precursor who conquered the academic world; Romeo leads research on assistance for the elderly or people with reduced autonomy; while Pepper is already the new companion of Japanese families!

Our vision of robotics

The same ambitions drive all of our robots: Friendliness and positive attitudes are at the core of all products and applications.

This is why we decided to design different types of robots, in order to make a number of needs and concerns more pleasant.

But whether it's NAO, Pepper or Romeo, all of their content has a common characteristic: to be fun and well-intentioned towards children, teenagers, adults and elderly people, or simply put, towards all humans.

Our robots are created to perceive their environment and interact as naturally as possible. This is what we believe and what we commit to from the outset of an idea.

SoftBank Robotics Timeline

"The garage" - In 2005, Bruno Maisonnier founded Aldebaran, with five other passionate individuals who joined the adventure.

The first NAO prototype - A year later, the small team created the first real prototype of NAO. The first clients appeared: researchers!

NAO and the RoboCup - In 2008, NAO was selected to succeed Sony's Aibo in the RoboCup Standard Platform League. On course for the football world cup !

A new benchmark in education is born - NAO gradually widened his horizons beyond football to become a benchmark in the world of education and research.

NAO welcomed at the Shanghai Expo - In 2010, twenty NAO robots danced at the France Pavilion and became the main attraction of the 10 million visitors.

The ROMEO project - Romeo was created in 2011, following two years of work in collaboration with research labs and European institutions, in order to incorporate new technologies in assistance for people.

NAO Next Gen - In December 2011, a new version of NAO was launched, setting off to conquer secondary school classes.

The first Developer Program - The same year, Aldebaran launched the NAO Developer Program aimed at inviting developers to take part in creating applications.

ASK NAO - A new initiative was created in 2013 to offer an educational approach for teachers and autistic children using robotics.

Pepper - In June 2014, SoftBank and Aldebaran unveiled 'Pepper' – the first personal robot in the world able to read emotions.

NAO Evolution - At the same time, Aldebaran launched NAO Evolution, the latest generation of NAO which was more robust and benefited from recent improvements made to NAOqi.

Ateliers Aldebaran - The first Aldebaran Workshop opened its doors in Issy-les-Moulineaux on the 26th of June 2014: it was the first interaction and programming space with humanoid robots in the world!

Pepper in Japanese homes - On the 20th of June 2015, Pepper became the first humanoid robot available for Japanese homes. Pepper is a daily companion!

At the present time, more than 500 employees are taking part in building our future.

The adventure continues - On the 19th of May 2016, in order to grow its global reputation, the Aldebaran brand became SoftBank Robotics.

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